- "You see, boys, everybody thinks they want freedom, but what they really want is order. And when they realize that, they're gonna welcome us back with open arms."
- ―Valin Hess, to Migs Mayfeld and Din Djarin
Valin Hess was a human male general who served in the Imperial Army of the Galactic Empire and later the Morak Imperial remnants. He participated in carrying out Operation: Cinder on the planet Burnin Konn, where he chose to sacrifice his own division in wiping out a city. Around 9 ABY, Hess was stationed at the rhydonium refinery on the planet Morak when he noticed the disguised infiltrators Migs Mayfeld and Din Djarin.
Hess questioned Djarin, and Mayfeld gave their alleged designations as well as further fabricated details on Djarin. The general then prevented the pair from leaving and invited them for a drink. Sitting with the two "troopers," Hess wanted a new subject to toast to, and Mayfeld brought up Operation: Cinder, revealing that he had survived Burnin Konn. After the infiltrator questioned whether the outcome was good for those who had died, the general celebrated that they had outlived those victims. Hess proposed a toast to the Empire, but Mayfeld instead shot the officer, killing him.
Serving the Empire
- "That was a hard day. I had to make many unpleasant decisions."
"Yes, you did. Entire city gone in moments, along with everybody in it. We lost our whole division that day. Man, that was like 5-10,000 people."
- ―Valin Hess and Migs Mayfeld reflect on the attack on Burnin Konn
During the reign of the Galactic Empire, Valin Hess served as a general in the Imperial Army and the commanding officer of his own division. Following the death of Emperor Palpatine in 4 ABY, the contingency plan Operation: Cinder was ordered, and Hess led his division in an attack on the planet Burnin Konn. During the attack, the civilians at a city defended their homes from the Empire, at which point Hess made the decision to wipe out the entire city. In the process, he sacrificed his division, numbering between 5,000 and 10,000 people, along with it.
Meeting two troopers
- "Well, you two managed to be the only transport today to deliver their shipment. Come with me, hmm? Let's get a drink, Brown Eyes."
- ―Valin Hess invites Migs Mayfeld and Din Djarin to have a drink
In 9 ABY, during the reign of the New Republic, Valin Hess was a general in the Imperial remnants that operated an Imperial rhydonium refinery on the planet Morak. One day, some pirates attacked the Imperial Combat Assault Transports transporting rhydonium to the refinery. Juggernaut Five was the only transport to make it to the base, and was celebrated by the personnel there. At that time, Hess sat at the officers' mess, conversing with another officer. His attention was soon caught when one of the Juggernaut Pilots from Juggernaut Five entered the room and then turned back. The pilot was Migs Mayfeld, a former member of Hess's division and survivor of Burnin Konn who was infiltrating the base disguised as in Imperial uniform.
Fearing being recognized by his former commanding officer Hess, Mayfeld made his accomplice Din Djarin enter the room and consult the terminal as part of their mission. Hess, having watched them converse outside the mess, observed Djarin enter and give a salute before going to the terminal. Continuing to watch, the general saw Djarin fail to scan his face before removing his helmet to resolve the issue. Hess called over to the apparent pilot, who did not show any attention to the call. The general thus rose from his seat and walked over to Djarin, telling him off for not paying attention and asking his TK number.
Djarin hesitated to provide a TK number, and so Mayfeld chimed into the exchange, claiming Djarin was TK-593 and that he was Lieutenant TK-111. Mayfeld further stated that Hess had to speak up to Djarin as his starship had allegedly lost pressure at the planet Taanab. Raising his voice, Hess asked Djarin for his name, to which the apparent pilot again hesitated before Mayfeld said that the "trooper" was referred to as "Brown Eyes." Mayfeld then attempted to leave with Djarin, providing the excuse that the pair needed to fill out TPS reports and recharge power coils. Hess insisted that they were not dismissed and, after confirming that the pair had driven Juggernaut Five, advised the two to have a drink with him.
- "The guys I served with? Civilians, those poor mud scuffers, died defendin' their homes, fighting for freedom. Was it good for 'em?"
"But we've outlasted them, son. They're eatin' themselves alive. The New Republic is in disarray, and we grow stronger."
- ―Migs Mayfeld and Valin Hess
Hess and the two supposed pilots sat at the table he had been at before, and the general asked what the three should toast to, wishing to toast to something less repetitive than health or success. Subsequently, he asked "Brown Eyes" where he was from, but Mayfeld interjected, suggesting a toast to Operation: Cinder. Hess remarked that Mayfeld knew his history, and the latter added that he had been at Burnin Konn. The general claimed he had made "unpleasant decisions" that day, and Mayfeld recounted the events and his fallen comrades, who Hess called heroes.
After Hess referred to his decisions at Burnin Konn as for the "greater good," Mayfeld stated that it depended on who they asked. The general inquired for Mayfeld to elaborate, and the "trooper" asked if the sacrifice was good for those who had died at Burnin Konn and their families. Hess, though, added that they had outlasted those who had died, and that the Imperial remnant was growing stronger in the face of a New Republic that was "in disarray." He further brought up the prospect of using the rhydonium that Juggernaut Five had delivered to create more havoc than had been made at Burnin Konn, hoping that people would realize as a result that they want order.
Hess raised his cup to the Empire, but Mayfeld instead raised his SE-14r light repeating blaster and shot the general through the chest. As Hess fell dead onto the floor, the rest of the room froze, and Mayfeld proceeded to gun down the other personnel in the officers' mess, Djarin retrieving Hess's own repeating blaster to join his accomplice. The pair then escaped the base with the help of their allies and Mayfeld detonated one of the rhydonium transports, damaging a portion of the refinery.
Personality and traits
- "Hey, trooper. Pay attention when a superior addresses you."
- ―Valin Hess, to Din Djarin
Valin Hess was a human male with light skin, brown hair, and blue eyes. He chose to wipe out an entire city on Burnin Konn at the expense of his division, considering it a small sacrifice for the greater good. Hess believed that although some yearned for freedom, they would eventually realize that they want order, and come running back to the Empire. He curiously observed Mayfeld and Djarin upon first seeing them, and pressed the latter on who he was after watching him fumble at a terminal. When Mayfeld attempted to take Djarin away with him, Hess insisted that they were not dismissed and wished to celebrate their success in delivering rhydonium.
When proposing a toast with the pair, Hess wished not to use any repetitive subjects to toast to, and instead asked where Djarin was from. After Mayfeld mentioned Operation: Cinder, general remarked that the "trooper" knew his history. Having been reminded of Burnin Konn, Hess reflected on his decisions during the attack there as unpleasant. Although Mayfeld argued that the decision had not been good for those who had died as a result, Hess celebrated that they had outlived the victims and that the New Republic was in disarray, eating itself up.
- "You see, with the rhydonium you've delivered, we can create havoc that's gonna make Burnin Konn just pale by comparison."
- ―Valin Hess, to Migs Mayfeld
Valin Hess wore the standard grey uniform of an Imperial officer, including an Imperial kepi, black boots and gloves, a brown belt with a silver buckle and compartments, and a code cylinder attached below his left shoulder. He wore a rank insignia plaque on his left breast with four red bars above four blue. Hess also had a SE-14r light repeating blaster, which he kept holstered on his right hip.
Behind the scenes
- "I like the idea that inside of Star Wars, which is gonna be filled with a lot of big action, that you could have this quiet, tense scene between these people who have competing agendas, who are trying to figure each other out."
- ―Rick Famuyiwa, on filming Valin Hess's scene with Din Djarin and Migs Mayfeld
Valin Hess appeared in "Chapter 15: The Believer" of Jon Favreau's 2019 Disney+ television series The Mandalorian, directed by Rick Famuyiwa and released on December 11, 2020. He was played by Richard Brake, with Dane Farwell serving as a stunt double. When filming the conversation between Hess, Djarin, and Mayfeld, Famuyiwa wanted to present a more quiet scene to contrast the frequent action typically shown in Star Wars and also to present a tense exchange between people with competing agendas who are trying to find out about each other. The director's ultimate goals for the episode was to present a moral gray area in the use and transfers of power.
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: Making of Season Two
- "Jedi Master's Quiz"—Star Wars Insider 203
- "Worldwide"—Star Wars Insider 204
Notes and references
- Valin Hess's death on Morak in "Chapter 15: The Believer" took place in 9 ABY per the reasoning here.
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 15: The Believer"
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: Uprising
- Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: Making of Season Two