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"It's a small price to pay for saving the galaxy."
―Walex Blissex[src]

Walex Blissex was a Doctor of engineer of starship design, and later a General of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, esteemed and respected throughout the galaxy. His designs ranged from mammoth warships to minuscule starfighters, and his clients ranged from pan-galactic governments to insurrectionist rebellion movements. Working for such shipyards as Kuat Systems Engineering and Rendili StarDrive, Blissex created mainstays of the Army of the Republic, such as the Delta-7 Aethersprite-class light interceptor, and the Victory-class Star Destroyer. Blissex himself was not at ease with creating craft that could and would be used as killing machines, but he consoled himself with the fact that they were being used to police the galaxy and keep others from harm. Unable to use a computer properly, Blissex relied on assistants and his daughter, Lira. When Supreme Chancellor Palpatine made his grab for unlimited power in 19 BBY, Blissex rejected his New Order, and quietly became a founding member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic.

Lira, however, had other ideas, and essentially took her father's role in the Galactic Empire. Despite this, she was not as talented as her father, and when the Galactic Civil War broke out twenty years later, the domestic dispute between Blissex and Lira became intertwined with galactic affairs. The two would tangle throughout the war, with Lira consistently trying to trap or murder her father. Blissex overcame all obstacles however, and was able to serve the Alliance faithfully until it became the New Republic. In his later years, Blissex would see less active duty, but would serve with Jan Dodonna's "Grey Cadre" and eventually design the Republic-class Star Destroyer.

Biography

Galactic Republic

The Clone Wars

"She is a remarkable vessel. With the engineering breakthroughs we tackled developing her, she's just the start. She's a real sign of things to come."
―Walex Blissex[src]

Walex Blissex was a starship engineer who designed all kinds of craft, from starfighters to battleships. At some stage in his career, he earned the title of Doctor.[3] Despite his inability to operate a computer, he was always aided by assistants and his daughter, Lira.[4] In 22 BBY, Blissex was working at Kuat Drive Yards, with the title of Project Engineer. He designed and developed the Delta-7 Aethersprite-class light interceptor, a small craft purpose-built for use by the Jedi Order. Blissex was proud of his craft, and joined in the unveiling on Kuat with Senator Risi Lenoan, and Jedi Knights Adi Gallia and Aayla Secura. Blissex took this opportunity to speak to HoloNet News.[5]

File:Victory Star Destroyer.jpg

In the waning days of the Galactic Republic and the Clone Wars, Blissex designed the Victory-class Star Destroyer for Rendili StarDrive. The craft was considered to be among the best of its kind, and although it saw limited use by the Republic, it would be a mainstay of the Galactic Empire fleet in the future.[2] Blissex himself was never comfortable with devising war machines, but he acknowledged the need for them to keep the peace.[1] During this time, Blissex was called upon the Kuat Systems Engineering once more to develop the Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing starfighter, as a replacement for the V-19 Torrent. Blissex saw this as an opportunity to correct flaws he percieved in the Delta-7.[6]

Defection and heartbreak

When Supreme Chancellor Palpatine made his grab for power in 19 BBY, Blissex chose to disappear from the galactic spotlight. He was idealistic, and he vehemently disagreed with Palpatine's policy of using weapons of mass destruction to police his new Galactic Empire, but he understood the threat that the Emperor posed to his safety. Rather than be forced to do that which he believed wrong, Blissex became one of the founding members of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Despite this, his daughter married Imperial Governor Denn Wessex of the Reglim Sector, and took her father's intended place in the Empire. She designed the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer, working from her father's designs for the Victory I-class.[1]

The Rebel Alliance

The A-Wing

A wing

The RZ-1 A-wing starfighter, a co-development between Blissex and Jan Dodonna.

Following the Battle of Yavin, General Jan Dodonna realized that the Alliance needed a starfighter that could match the TIE Fighter for speed and maneuverability. He approached Blissex, and together they developed the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor. Though Mon Mothma was initially skepitcal, she gave in to the now-popular Dodonna, and the craft was developed.[7] For research, Blissex and Dodonna examined the sleek ships of the Tammuz-an space navy, such as the R-22 Spearhead.[8] Mothma, however, refused to adequately fund the project, forcing Blissex to get the maximum output for the lowest amount of input. Putting his skills to good use, Blissex was able to successfully assemble the RZ-1, using components so common that they could be found anywhere in the galaxy, without sacrificing any performance whatsoever.[7] Due to his service to the Alliance, he was given the honorary rank of general.[9]

Reunion on the Subjugator

Blissex served the Alliance faithfully as an engineering advisor, but he inconsolable rift between him and his daughter affected him greatly. Although he intended to amend their relationship, Lira did not. Eventually, Blissex learned from Denn Wessex that his daughter was apparently dying. Wessex pleaded with Blissex to make the trip to the Reglim Sector to see Lira, but Alliance High Command was skeptical. Labelling it a trap, they cautioned Blissex, but the esteemed engineer insisted that he was of no use to the Empire, and that he would make the trip no matter what.[1]

Alliance High Command was still not satisfied, and so General Crix Madine dispatched two of his agents, Rexellian Marshall and Kan Deans to watch over Blissex. Wessex arranged to have Blissex picked up from Kwenn Space Station by the Subjugator, which would be traveling under the ruse of a supply stop. Upon reaching Kwenn, Blissex, Marshall and Deans were all thrown in the Subjugator's detention cells, ready for interrogation by the fit and well Lira Wessex. Lira had devised the trap, as her designs for the Imperial-I-class had never been able to match the quality they would have reached at her fathers hands.[1]

During the interrogation, the Subjugator fell under attack from Task Force Starfall, who had no knowledge that Blissex was onboard. During the battle, both ships recieved heavy damage, but the Subjugator was crippled. Captain Kolaff set the Subjugator to self-destruct just as the Rebels would make their second attack with a code known only to Lira and Blissex. During a power blackout, Marshall and Deans liberated Blissex from an interrogation droid.[4] Due to the rigorous interrogation, the aging Blissex was exhausted, and barely able to stand.[3] The trio then made their way through the burning body of the Subjugator, while being antagonized by Kolaff. Blissex's knowledge of his own ship design was critical in guiding the small group through the ship, but his comrades soon discovered that he did not know how to operate a computer. Deans, however, was able to discover Kolaff's plan to destroy the ship.[4]

File:OriginalBlissex.JPG

Blissex realized he could turn the tables on Kolaff by setting the ship to self-destruct an hour earlier than scheduled. Making their way to the ship's core, Blissex, Marshall, and Deans battled Imperials whilst being taunted and goaded by Kolaff over the ship's intercom system. Upon reaching the core, Blissex noticed that the self-destruct sequence was one known only to him and one other person: his daughter. The truth of the situation dawned on Blissex, and he realized that his own daughter had trapped him.[3] The engineer was devestated at the news, but was given little time to console himself.[4]

The gambit to alter the self destruct sequence proved to be another trap, and the trio found themselves battling stormtroopers once again. Learning of a unnoccupied shuttle in a far-off landing bay, the group set off throughout the harried ship, with Blissex guiding his two allies every step of the way. Eventually, the group encountered T-3PO, a protocol droid capable of communicating with the ship's defense mechanisms. Seeing that the droid would come in useful, the Rebels decided to allow it to tag along. Traversing through areas of the ship so damaged that the artificial gravity had lapsed, the group eventually found their way to the docking bays, only to be confronted by Kolaff in an AT-ST.[3]

Marshall and Deans were able to procure their own AT-ST, and defeated Kolaff in a brief confrontation, and the Rebels then moved on to Hangar Bay G-12.[3] However, Lira and a squad of stormtroopers arrived to stop Blissex and his allies from escaping. As the assailants attempted to kill the Rebels, the droid complement of the Subjugator, abandoned by their masters, attacked Lira and the stormtroopers, buying Blissex time to escape. The members of Task Force Starfall picked up the trio, and Lira too was able to depart before the Subjugator exploded. Despite this, Blissex assumed that Lira had died in the explosion, leaving him no opportunity to reconcile their relationship. Heartbroken, Blissex returned to active service.[4]

Wayward experiments

"Father, what a pleasant surprise. I thought you were no longer interested in building battle platforms."
"I didn't know you had an interest in killing innocent scientists.
"
―Lira Wessex and Walex Blissex[src]

Sometime later, Blissex recieved a holographic message from his friend, Doctor Issan Len. Len had developed the X0-X1, a droid that could control multi-faceted systems by itself. The doctor called Blissex in to inspect the new droid, but he also requested that Blissex arrange Alliance protection for the machine, as it would be deadly in the Empire's hands. However, by the time Blissex arrived at Cloud City, it was too late. He and his escort were delayed by some hostile droids, but as they reached Dr. Len's office, they discovered that he had been recently murdered, and the X0-X1 prototype had been stolen.[10]

Investigating the crime scene, the Rebels deduced that Len had been murdered by F-3PO, a protocol droid from Bioniip Laboratories. The droid, however, had no recollection of the incident, and only spoke of "black tentacles" reaching out towards him. Before Blissex and his guards could act on the information, Baron Administrator Lando Calrissian arrived on the scene with a detachment of his guards. He insisted that the Rebels solve the crime, or be arrested as suspects in Len's death. Following their only lead, the Rebels traveled to Bioniip Laboratories.[10]

File:CrazyBlissex.PNG

Taking F-3PO with them, the Rebels were informed by the Bioniip receptionist that the protocol droid had been sold to none other than Lira Wessex. Instead of expressing surprise at the discovery, Blissex was only disappointed, and to think that his daughter might have been involved in Len's death affected him greatly. F-3PO, at first struggling to remember Lira, suddenly piped up and mentioned that his master was going to meet one Doctor Vreen at the Royal Casino. Hastily traveling to the Casino, the Rebels met a disguised Calrissian at a sabacc table. Calrissian had seen someone matching Lira's description, but he requested that one of the Rebels play a game of sabacc with him. As the game started, the group was approached by Helm Iskraker, who was also there to meet Vreen.[10]

During the game, they learned from Iskraker that he had stolen seven key cards from SecuriCo in the Indellum system, though when probed for the identity of his client, the alien feigned ignorance. He also had no knowledge of Lira whatsoever. Lira herself eventually showed up, and sat down at the sabacc table with Iskraker, Blissex, the Rebels, and the disguised Calrissian. After some verbal sparring between Blissex and his daughter, Lira inquired as to Vreen's whereabouts, but no one had any answers. Lira was also puzzled by the accusation that F-3PO was her droid, as she had never owned a protocol droid in her life.[10]

As the sabacc game progressed, the cards evolved into dark, flat, hemispherical shapes with tentacles coming out of them. The evolved cards matched the description recalled by F-3PO at Len's lab. At that moment, a large labor droid entered the casino, and moved to attack the patrons. After Blissex's Rebel escorts defeated the droid, however, they discovered that Lira, Iskraker, and Calrissian had all left. With information extracted from the wayward labor droid, the Rebels learned that it had come from Bioniip, which was apparently where Vreen was located.[10]

Blackout

Returning to Bioniip Labs, the Rebels were met with heavy resistance from a variety of droids. Left with no alternative, they blasted their way into the facility. They were confronted by odd humanoid droids, and eventually discovered that the Bioniip cafeteria was been used as a makeshift prison. The Bioniip staff were being held there by the droids, who had apparently taken over the labs. They informed Blissex and his escorts that Vreen was alive, and had hand-picked several scientists at gunpoint several hours prior. Venturing further into the facility, the Rebels came across a group of scientist's bodies, that had been somehow made half machine. One of the bodies, situated on a lab table, was that of the still-alive Dr. Vreen.[10]

As the half-mechanical Vreen awoke, Blissex and his allies confronted him. They learned that he had taken X0-X1 somewhere, but the exact location was lost to him. What he did know was that the location was sealed with seven locks, and that these locks could only be opened with the help of a "gold-skinned alien" and a "black haired woman." Though the Rebels realized that the alien was Iskraker, they had no clues as to the identity of the woman. Vreen had been tortured by X0-X1, and was forced to create Evolution Droids—microscopic units that could transform flesh into metal. The scientists he had experimented on were dead, so he had been forced to use himself as a test subject. The only other things Vreen could remember were that some droids had taken a canister of Evolution Droids out of the lab, and that X0-X1 was somehow controlling all the droids.[10]

Pressing Vreen further, the Rebels learned that the black haired woman was Bellum the Forger. They also discovered that X0-X1 planned to take over Cloud City entirely. As the group discussed the situation with Vreen, X0-X1 sent in a mouse droid carrying the Evolution virus, hoping to infect Blissex and his companions. The plot was foiled however, and Blissex realized that the virus could be reversed to affect droids. Working quickly with Vreen, he developed a batch that would effectively serve as a poison to X0-X1.[10]

Walex Blissex2

Walex Blissex in his Alliance Command uniform.

Before the Rebels were given a chance to depart Bioniip Laboratories, Cloud City experienced a total blackout. The previously imprisoned scientists helped Blissex and his team stock up on supplies before setting out for Bellum's shop, with Vreen in tow. On the way, they encountered several droids installing canisters full of the Evolution virus in the air vents, with approximately two hours until activation. Realizing that time was of the essence, the group hurriedly made their way to Bellum's shop. Meeting with Bellum, they asked her about Vreen and the keys he had commissioned for the seven locks that would guide them to X0-X1. Although the Forger didn't have the spare keys, she did know that one of them was for a maintenance corridor near K'cri's Cafe. Bellum, however, did not have the keys themselves, as they had been stolen from her earlier.[10]

However, the Vreen realized that they could find X0-X1 by using the serial numbers on the keys. The group searched Bellum's shop for clues as to who might have stolen the cold box containing Bellum's copies, and found some gold flakes, left by Iskraker's alien skin. Before the Rebels could track down the thief, Bellum was cut down by the fire of one of X0-X1's droids. After defeating the droid, Blissex and his allies realized that they would not be able to locate Iskraker, as only Bellum had known his location. Fortunately for them, they soon chanced upon Widget, a friend of Iskraker. After some trickery and convincing, the Rebels were able to get Widget to lead them to Iskraker's ship, the Erratic Orbit.[10]

Catching up to Iskraker at Docking Bay 478B, Blissex and his companions arrived to see the alien giving Lira Wessex the cold box. Some mercenaries working for Lira engaged the Rebels, giving Blissex's daughter a chance to escape. The Rebels overcame the distraction, and hunted the Imperial engineer down. Lira, who had recently had borg implants installed, scanned the cold box for the key's serial number as she fled from her father hand his men. During the chase, however, Lira was knocked off a ledge, and forced to request aid from the Rebels. Turning the tables on them, she threw the coldbox away into Bespin's clouds, forcing Blissex and the Rebels to save her for her memory.[10]

Foiling X0-X1

"Dr. Blissex, you of all people should recognize the value redesigning and rebuilding."
"Agreed. But is it truly efficient to waste thousands of productive lives?
"
―X0-X1 and Walex Blissex[src]

Travelling to K'cri's Cafe, Lira explained that Dr. Vreen had contacted her and informed her of X0-X1, which could be used to build weapons platforms by itself, as it was doing to Cloud City as they spoke. Reaching the first lock, the Rebels progressed through all seven, battling all manner of traps and adversaries thrown at them by X0-X1. Reaching the Cloud City computer core where X0-X1 resided, the group were confronted by Vreen, who had completed his transformation process and was now completely and utterly mechanical. He attempted to acquire Blissex's droid poison, but was destroyed by the Rebels. Despite this, they were unable to reach X0-X1, as the droid had a number of security measures in place protecting itself.[10]

Blissex realized that the only way to destroy X0-X1 was to deactivate Cloud City's computer core. However, the core regulated Cloud City's generators, allowing it to float, and deactivating the core would cause the city to plummet for thirty seconds before being crumpled by Bespin's pressure. Blissex realized this, but insisted it was the only hope for the City. The Rebels executed the plan, and were able to pull it off successfully, destroying X0-X1. Lira, however, took the opportunity to turn the tables once more on her father. Holding a blaster to Blissex's head, she gloated while a group of thugs she had hired to watch over her entered the room. However, Calrissian had been hiding in the core room the whole time with a detachment of his guards, and chose that moment to reveal himself. Requesting that Lira leave the city, he dropped the murder allegations against Blissex and his men, and thanked them for their services to Cloud City.[10]

Battle of Endor and the New Republic

File:BlissexBriefing.JPG

In 4 ABY, Blissex was present aboard the Home One, in preparation for the climactic Battle of Endor.[11] Blissex's expertise in the field of Star Destroyers gave him particular call to be present for the battle, as the Alliance would face a large amount of them over the Sanctuary Moon. In particular, Blissex provided the B-wing pilots with calculations and reccomendations that would lead them to destroy one Star Destroyer during the battle, and damage several others. Ironically, one of Blissex's A-wing starfighters would destroy the Executor, which was designed by Lira.[4] The Endor briefing would prove to be one of the last times Blissex was seen in public.[1]

When the Alliance gave way to the New Republic, Blissex retired from active service. Several years later, his friendship with Jan Dodonna would bring him back into the military fold. Blissex became a part of Dodonna's "Grey Cadre," which served as a council of military advisors to the New Republic High Command.[4] Amongst the battle hardened veterans that made up the group, Blissex was the most quiet and reserved of the lot.[1] Blissex would later design the Republic-class Star Destroyer, an improvement and follow-up to his aging Victory-class. Though not as large as Lira's Imperial-class, it boasted 20 percent more firepower and only a fifth of the crew complement.[12]

Personality and traits

Walex Blissex tended to see issues in black and white, and apart from his refusal to comply with Palpatine's new regime, he would generally abide by the law. He was particularly disappointed to see his creations, such as the Victory-class Star Destroyer, turned into a symbol of terror by the Empire.[10] Despite this, Blissex was proud of his creations.[5] At heart, Blissex was a pacifist and idealist, which put him at odds with his daughter on several occasions.[3] He chose not to speak out publicly against the reforms of 19 BBY, rather, he chose to act, which was considerably more dangerous.[1]

Blissex faithfully served the Alliance, but he had one weakness: his daughter. The nonreciprocating love he had for her allowed Lira to lure him into a variety of traps and use him as leverage. Blissex was always hurt deeply by Lira's machinations, and even though she had attempted to kill him, he was still crestfallen at the prospect of her death on the Subjugator.[4] When she resurfaced shortly afterwards on Cloud City, he was not surprised, rather, disappointed that she was still trying to outwit and destroy her father in the name of the Empire.[10]

Behind the scenes

Walex Blissex was first mentioned in Greg Gordon's Imperial Sourcebook. His role as an engineer and designer would be elaborated and expanded upon, until Starfall, in which Blissex and his daughter Lira are pivotal characters. The two of them would also feature prominently in Crisis on Cloud City. Blissex was given a consistent depiction in both Starfall and Crisis on Cloud City, but he was later given the visage of an extra present in the briefing scene in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, through the "Star Wars Customizable Card Game." This depiction was later used in The Official Star Wars Fact File as the basis for an original illustration, despite the fact that it varied greatly from the original West End Games version of Blissex.

Appearances

Sources

Notes and references

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