- "But no matter!"
- ―Brandei, when ambushed by Talon Karrde's forces during the Katana Fleet skirmish
Brandei was born on Mantooine in 45 BBY during the last decades of the Galactic Republic. As a cadet from an Outer Rim Territories world, he had to struggle to overcome discrimination; even exemplary work gained him only marginal notice from his professors and superiors. Nonetheless, his academy training—perhaps on Raithal[source?]—imbued him with a definite air of purpose and confidence, and he made his mark in the Imperial military in spite of this initial prejudice.
Brandei spent much of his career aboard the Star Destroyer Judicator, assigned to the area of the Core Worlds embracing Garos IV. In 6 BBY, he held the rank of Senior Lieutenant, and it was at his suggestion that his old friend Tork Winger, an administrator on Garos IV, adopted a Rebel orphan, the girl later known as Alex Winger.
By 3 ABY, Brandei had been transferred aboard the Star Dreadnought Executor, where he performed bridge duty as a Technical Services Officer with the Fleet Support Branch, holding the title of commander and the overall responsibility for the up-keep, maintenance, and combat readiness of the ship's twelve TIE squadrons. Shortly after the Battle of Hoth, however, he received notice of a transfer back the Judicator, aboard which he apparently served at the Battle of Endor. By 6 ABY, New Republic Intelligence believed that he had received a further promotion soon after Endor.
Brandei's assignment as captain of the Judicator allowed him to renew his acquaintance with the Wingers, but beginning around three years after Endor, he made several further visits to Garos IV with a more driven mission: overseeing the shipment of a Garosian ore for use in Imperial cloaking device projects. At around this time, he also made an intense study of what he still regarded as the Rebellion, attempting to understand his enemies in order to defeat them. He came to believe that while Rebels would fight fiercely if they had no other option, they were ultimately driven by an ill-thought-out compassion, often prepared to abandon their mission and their cause to save their immediate friends. Ultimately, he thought, they wanted an easy life, rather than to fight for the greater good, and that understanding this was the key to defeating them.
During Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic in 9 ABY, Brandei remained commanding officer of the Judicator and was part of Thrawn's personal armada. He led a successful assault on the planet Nkllon in the Athega system, with the objective of capturing mole miners from Lando Calrissian's Nomad City, though the operation caused extensive damage to the Judicator that required lengthy repair work. He was also present at the New Republic's discovery of the Katana fleet. There, he personally witnessed the destruction of the Star Destroyer Peremptory at the 'hands' of a slave-rigged Dreadnaught-class cruiser when it collided with the Star Destroyer, causing Brandei much anger for which he would later be reprimanded by Thrawn.
Following the fragmentation of the Empire that resulted from the final death of Palpatine, Captain Brandei settled his forces on Janara III and the Judicator patrolled the sector. In 12 ABY, the Star Destroyer intercepted Blue Squadron's X-wing starfighters during a routine mission. Lieutenant Alexandra Winger was captured during the skirmish and conduced to Janara III. The New Republic eventually sent forces to rescue her, forcing Brandei to abandon the planet.
- "Turning Point"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 5
- Star Wars: Rebellion
- Therefore I Am: The Tale of IG-88 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back junior novel
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (First appearance) (Retcon)
- "A Glimmer of Hope"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 1
- "Mission to Zila"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 3 (Appears in a dream)
- Heir to the Empire (First appearance before retcon)
- Dark Force Rising
- The Last Command
- The Last Command 1 (Appears in hologram)
- Heir to the Empire Sourcebook
- Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
- "Rebel Rumblings"—Star Wars Insider 25
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Dagobah Limited (Card: Commander Brandei)
- The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Star Wars: Rebellion: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia