- "Your Highness, there's nothing more we can do tonight. The shield doors must be closed."
- ―Major Bren Derlin
Bren Derlin was a male Human officer of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. He joined the Alliance military after his father, anti-Imperial Senator Galen Derlin, was assassinated by agents of the Galactic Emperor. Showing his talent, Bren Derlin became a captain and served during the Battle of Ralltiir. His heroic actions saving lives during the Evacuation of Nentan merited him a new promotion, and Major Derlin served both in Alliance Intelligence and as the operations and security chief at the Alliance headquarters on the planet Hoth, Echo Base, under the command of General Carlist Rieekan. Derlin, in this post, gave the hardest orders in his life by closing the base door risking the lives of two valuable Rebels whom he himself considered his friends, to avoid putting the whole base in risk. Soon after this event, Derlin served during the Battle of Hoth.
A year later, Alliance General Han Solo asked Major Derlin to gather a commando team of Hoth veterans for a dangerous, yet vital, raid on an Imperial bunker on Endor. This would give the Alliance fleet a chance to fight the Empire during the Battle of Endor. Derlin was the planet-level unit leader during the operation and, while his team was captured, they made use of a diversion to obtain a victory.
During the years of the New Republic, Derlin worked with New Republic Intelligence, opposing crime lord Torel Vorne on Reuss VI. Derlin was then promoted to colonel and, during the Thrawn campaign, managed a difficult operation to mislead the forces of the Empire: While Admiral Gial Ackbar and General Crix Madine staged a raid to the well-protected Bilbringi, Derlin moved starships to pretend that the New Republic was really targeting Tangrene. Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn was not fooled by this maneuver.
Derlin became a Brigadier and then retired from active services. By 16 ABY, Derlin was the commander of the Alliance Veteran's Victory Association, a retiree's club that hoped to become active in reserve.
Captain Derlin: The Battle of RalltiirEdit
- "Commander Skywalker, come in…
I copy, Derlin.
The Imperials have returned. I don't know how long we can stay here."
- ―Then-Captain Bren Derlin
Bren Derlin was born around 44 BBY to 41 BBY, the son of Senator Galen Derlin of Tiisheraan. Senator Derlin had opposed Senator Palpatine, later Galactic Emperor Palpatine, until Derlin decided that politics were not enough to stop him. While Galen Derlin had retired from politics, he was assassinated by an Imperial agent. Most of his relatives understood that criticizing Palpatine for this could lead to further reprisals. However, Bren Derlin was outraged at all this, and took active measures: He joined the illegal anti-Imperial organization known as the Alliance to Restore the Republic and served as a soldier in its infantry. Once he could show his skill as a tactician, he was promoted to captain.
Captain Derlin was given the command of a CEC CR90 corvette and sent to the planet Ralltiir in 0 ABY. The Empire had discovered that Alliance scientists were hiding there, and members of the Red Squadron of the Alliance were trying to take these people out of the planet before the Imperial troops could capture them. The Empire staged a blockade around the planet, so Derlin had to land his starship. While Derlin was waiting for his new charges, Imperial stormtroopers boarded his landed starship. Commander Luke Skywalker of the Red Squadron took the scientists to Derlin's corvette and, hearing Derlin's stormtrooper infestation problem, cleaned out the corvette. Skywalker then ordered Derlin to leave, and Derlin commanded his corvette, running through the Imperial blockade and taking the scientists to a Rebel headquarters on a different planet.
The Hero of NentanEdit
Through the following years, Captain Derlin served under General Carlist Rieekan and fought in several small battles through the galaxy. A young Rebel officer, Cal Alder, was serving Derlin at this point.
Both Rieekan and Derlin were serving on the planet Nentan, in a secret checkpoint point where a number of civilians, liberated from the Empire, were waiting for transport to a Rebel safe world. The base was only two months old when the Empire discovered its location. Rieekan was ordered to evacuate it, and Derlin managed the escape of essential military staff. Evacuating the civilians was a priority task, but the bunkers were overcrowded and the available transports were not enough to evacuate so many people. A number of the soldiers and officers volunteered to be left behind, but Rieekan disliked this sacrifice. Captain Derlin offered him an alternative: The willing soldiers, under his direct command, would steal an Imperial starship to escape.
Captain Derlin took a squad and led the remaining personnel to the Nentan wastes. They hid among the towering rock spires of some nearby ruins, leaving the checkpoint empty. Captain Derlin correctly assumed that the Imperial troops would hit the base hard, razing it in a show of strength—and leaving their transports lightly protected. Captain Derlin and his men used natural cover to capture one Imperial landing barge and staffed it with the refugees. Derlin's transport left the planet.
The captain of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer in orbit saw the transport, but assumed she was simply moving prisoners or equipment. Before the Empire could ask for a code clearance, Derlin's transport escaped to hyperspace, saving a great number of lives.
Derlin's heroic victory on Nentan was well-document in the records of the Alliance, For these meritorious actions, General Rieekan promoted Derlin, the Hero of Nentan, to Major.
Major Derlin, IntelligenceEdit
- "I have submitted this SecuriDex particularly for Cene because of her unpredictable style: her amazing abilities very nearly cost me one of my newest soldiers during training movements of Fislan."
- ―Extract to Bren Derlin's report on Cene Gilvent
Soon after his promotion, Major Bren Derlin became a member of Alliance Intelligence, the commander of security and operations at the Alliance High Command base, and one of the executive members of the Rebel Alliance's command staff. As the Alliance had recently lost its main base on Yavin 4, Derlin was assigned the task of finding possible sites for a new headquarters. His Intel peers considered Derlin an excellent field operative and a highly competent officer.
Derlin was also a member of the three-hundred-sentient Task Force on Alliance Security, whose task was compiling information on the main threats to the Alliance. Derlin had had an encounter with the Ocsinin swordswoman Cene Gilvent on Fislan; this event was nearly fatal for one of Derlin's newest soldiers. As such, Derlin wrote a SecuriDex on Gilvent, reporting on her origins. In an addendum, he pointed that Gilvent was expert in many fields of close combat, and proposed using a long-range sniper to take care of her.
Security chief Derlin of Echo BaseEdit
- "There is no one else I would even consider"
- ―General Rieekan, on choosing Derlin as security chief of Echo Base
The Alliance eventually chose to have a presence on the frozen planet Hoth, and assigned Derlin there. They started building the new base, Echo Base, in 1 ABY, with Major Derlin overseeing it. Initially, Echo Base was a small outpost established by the Alliance Special Forces, but its success prompted the Alliance High Command to evaluate its potential for a bigger base. Eventually, the High Command considered Hoth for the main base.
From the very creation of the outpost, General Rieekan put Major Derlin in charge of Hoth base security of operations, a hard working task to ensure that Echo Base is active no matter the circumstances. As the chief of operations, Derlin was in charge of defense and logistics, and of security. Rieekan later stated that he never considered any other candidate for such an important job. Derlin, an essential part of the Base command structure, served successfully and had the support of the troops. While still a field officer, Derlin was also one of the field commanders of the base.
In 2 ABY, a small Imperial detachment visited Hoth in a mission not related with the Alliance, but they accidentally discovered the outpost. Captain Han Solo, a smuggler and collaborator of the Alliance, discovered Imperial walkers approaching Echo Base. Solo returned to Echo Base and reported to Derlin. Derlin quickly put a well-rehearsed defensive plan into motion. When the Empire began its assault with a squad of snowtroopers and AT-PTs, Derlin countered with heavy blaster fire, making the Empire to temporary fall back. An Imperial AT-ST arrived as reinforcement, blazing away at Rebel positions. Then, a sudden blizzard covered both armies, interrupting the battle. Derlin's men outside the outpost perimeter protected under temporary shelters, but the Imperial forces were utterly wiped out before they could report.
General Crix Madine, a former Imperial officer who had deserted to join the Alliance, discovered that the Alliance did not have commando brigades. Madine, who had commanded one of these in the Empire, convinced the Alliance High Command to create these kind of units. One of the first Rebel commando units created, founded as SpecForce 32nd command unit, was assigned to Major Derlin, with the task of protecting Echo Base. One of its members was young Rebel officer Judder Page.
During his service on Echo Base, Derlin personally met Captain Han Solo and Commander Luke Skywalker, one of the commanding field officers. Derlin felt a great respect for them, and considered them to be his personal friends, although he was not in first-name basis with Solo. Skywalker considered Derlin a likable person and a good soldier, but he perceived Derlin more as a steadying influence for his men than as a leader.
The lifeforms on the planet Hoth included the fearsome predator known as the Wampa, but the Rebels had only detected harmless creatures including tauntauns and snowmice. The scout, encouraged, worked alone instead of in pairs as per the Standard Operating Procedure. A dead tauntaun was discovered outside Echo Base, and the medical droid 2-1B determined that a very strong creature had purposely broken its neck. Derlin wrote it down on his reports but, as there were more pressing worries at that moment, it would be something to look into in the future.
Only one month after the Alliance had established Echo Base, Commander Skywalker and Captain Solo went on a patrol and failed to return to the base before the night. Major Derlin had to side with caution and close the main doors of the Base, to protect the other people there from the cold night temperature—but at the same time, that meant leaving Skywalker and Solo outside for the night, with almost no chance of surviving. Major Derlin waited at the main door, near Princess Leia Organa, an important dignitary of the base and close friend to both Skywalker and Solo. Young lieutenant Alder reported to Derlin that only Skywalker and Solo had failed to return. Derlin, his voice weighty with regrets, had the unenviable task to report Organa about the need of closing the doors. He assumed responsibility for the decision, waited for Organa to acknowledge his words, and then ordered Alder to close the doors, apparently dooming his friends. Derlin would later that as the moment when he gave the hardest orders of his life.
Derlin intended to send airspeeder to search Skywalker and Solo in the morning, as the vehicles were not ready yet, and tried to comfort Organa by telling her so. Organa asked whether Derlin believed that Skywalker and Solo could survive until then or not. Major Derlin refused to give up hope completely, but he recognize that it was unlikely. Organa's droids C-3PO and R2-D2 offered a precise, albeit disheartening, estimation of possibilities.
The following day, Skywalker and Solo were rescued by the airspeeder searchers. Skywalker was unconscious and had claw marks on his face. He woke up to describe the Wampa beast who had attacked him. Derlin then ordered regular perimeter patrols, searching in pairs, and speeders for night action.
That same night, Derlin was in the command center along with Alliance officer Voren Na'al. They were interrupted by a call from the Rebel Bervin in a perimeter post. They ran to Bervin's position, but they found only blood, fight signs and a collapse. Several other sentries were attacked and dragged on during the night. C-3PO and R2-D2 approached Derlin and talked him about a pattern in the attacks that the Major had missed: High-pitched sounds made by astromech droids through the base drove the Wampas into berserker rage. This data was enough for Echo Base to stage a counterattack. Derlin's forces then captured a number of Wampas and scared the others toward the snow plains.
Major Derlin: The Battle of HothEdit
- "Okay. Everybody to your stations. Let's go!"
- ―Major Derlin, to Rebel pilots
The Galactic Empire nonetheless discovered Echo Base and organized a ground attack against it. Imperial General Maximilian Veers commanded several highly-armored AT-ATs to raid the base. The commanders of the base assigned snowspeeders to the available pilots so that they could oppose the walkers, while the Alliance evacuated the planet in transports. Organa and Derlin briefed the pilots with their instructions; Organa explained the details while Derlin mixed with the pilots, standing behind Derek Klivian. Once she was over, Derlin gave the pilots the order to man their stations, and they were quick to obey.
Rieekan and Derlin decided movements and actions of the troops from the darkened war rooms at Echo Base while Colonel Ledick Firest was assigned with carrying them out in the trenches. Derlin commanded an entire battalion of soldiers, including the 4th Squad and a man named Kensaric. During the Battle of Hoth, Derlin saw action himself: He saw Skywalker's snowspeeder crash-landing, and Derlin ran to the battlefield to help him escape by riding away with him on a tauntaun. Derlin then helped Skywalker and a group of Rebels against an Imperial landing party but, once that skirmish was over, Derlin rode away to save one squad of troops whose retreat had been cut off. Meanwhile, Derlin's SpecForce 32nd commando unit fought to hold Imperial snowtroopers, making time so that the command staff could escape.
Eventually, Hoth was evacuated, and the Rebel fleet grouped at a pre-established rendezvous point. Major Derlin and General Rieekan served together in a frigate and managed the arrivals, with Derlin on the alert for the incoming shipments—as this would tell them what supplies they had. Derlin reported Rieekan about an important scarcity of tibanna for blasters, partly due to the transport Treasure Trove not having arrived even 36 hours after the expected time—and still not having arrived. Rieekan ordered Derlin to send special agents on the YL-2200 light freighter Out Runner to search for the Treasure Trove. Derlin did so, and eventually the agents returned with a load of spin-sealed tibanna gas.
General Madine noticed the performance of Derlin's 32nd unit during the Battle of Hoth and recommended them to protect Alliance High Command, with Derlin answering directly to the commander-in-chief of the Alliance Mon Mothma.
Major Derlin: The Battle of EndorEdit
- "Good luck, and may the Force be with you."
- ―Major Derlin on Endor
In 4 ABY, the Galactic Empire built a new Death Star on the secluded planet Endor. Thanks to the work of Bothan spies, the Alliance High Command had discovered not only the exact location, but also the schematics of the Death Star space station and its stage of construction. Han Solo, by then a General of the Alliance, was assigned to lead a strike team to the planet surface, where they would approach an Imperial bunker that served as shield generator protecting the Death Star; once the generator was over, the Alliance fleet would attack the Death Star. General Solo needed a strike team and he decided he wanted the veterans of the Battle of Hoth. Solo contacted Derlin and asked him to find his men. Derlin needed no time to gather them, as they had been with the fleet ever since Hoth, and even the last of them volunteered. Derlin's 32nd would be part of the strike team, with Derlin himself, by then considered a grizzled veteran, commanding it as the planet-level unit leader.
Eleven men served under Derlin, including Judder Page and corporal Kensaric, whose responsibility was to cover their tracks. Demolition experts Junkin and Squalls were also members of the strike team. Solo commanded other officers, including Dansra Beezer, Delevar, Greeve and Voren Na'al, as well as the command team of the insertion shuttle leading them all to the planetary surface through the Imperial defense grid.
Derlin also took a Rebel named Taki and sent Page to contact certain individuals who had helped the Bothan spies to obtain the schematics. Their report had impressed Derlin and the Major wanted them to join the strike them—which they did.
Solo obtained authorization to land his shuttle, and immediately after this he informed Derlin and the other commandos in the passenger hold. Once they landed, Derlin and Solo had a quick discussion, and then Derlin took his team to cover the distance toward the bunker. However, before they could even part, they were found by an Imperial AT-ST walker. Derlin ordered Taki to jam its communications, and ordered his other men to stop the walker. They managed to succeed at this.
Derlin led the commandos in their assault at the Imperial bunker. However, the Alliance was working on false premises, as the Empire had been well aware of their plans from the very beginning. Imperial forces managed to capture Derlin's men—only to be assaulted by the Ewoks, a native sentient species. This distraction was all the commandos needed to turn their capture into a victory. The shield generator was destroyed and, soon afterward, the fleet destroyed the Death Star and the Emperor was killed. That night, the Alliance held a party at the Ewok village.
Before the party was over, a Rebel starship detected an energy spike from the surface that was believed to be Imperial troops trying to contact their fleet. They would face interference from the battle debris, but they could be adapting their technology to overcome this problem. Admiral Ackbar of the Alliance fleet ordered Derlin to look into it, and Derlin then chose a team and sent them to scan the area where the spike came from. This team stopped Imperial lieutenant Jeres Moridon, who was trying to contact his fleet, and reported to Derlin. Derlin read their report but he could not know whether Moridon had succeeded or not, particularly as one Imperial destroyer had made a quick visit to the orbit. He promised to command the team as soon as possible but, at that point, he notified that everybody had to perform double duty per Ackbar's orders.
During the following days, Derlin was still the planet-level unit leader, remaining on the surface to oversee incoming ground forces. He assigned Page the temporary command of the 32nd unit, and listened to Voren Na'al's oral report on how his team took over an AT-ST walker while en route to the Imperial bunker.
While the Battle of Endor itself was Derlin's last major combat command, he had further combat experience when the Alliance base on Endor was attacked by Nagai ground forces under the command of Lumiya. The Nagai tried to reach the Alliance High command, but Derlin's assault team intercepted them.
Major Derlin, New Republic Intelligence: Reuss VIIIEdit
- "Derlin, heesa tink of everyting."
Major Bren Derlin was promoted to ground forces command and began serving the New Republic—a new galactic government formed by surviving officers of the Alliance. In particular he would work for New Republic Intelligence.
In 5 ABY, the short adult Mygo Skinto, in representation of the Rust Rats, Reussi orphans from Reuss VIII, contacted the New Republic to inform about the situation of her world. The Empire had given control over Reuss VIII to the Reuss Corporation, that made important ecological damage to the planet, conscripted the locals for lowly-paid jobs and reduced the lifestyle to the point that they could not afford food. Even then, Reuss Corporation failed to obtain money. Reussi crime lord Torel Vorne, working in the black market of highly-adaptable Reussi organs, allied with the Corporation: The Corporation made the Reussi indebted, and the Vorne offered them to buy their organs so that their children could thrive. However, the orphans did not thrive in the situation. Derlin and the New Republic checked Skinto's story and verified it by talking with Vorne's offworld dealmaker, a Reussi named Deral Reiko.
In 6 ABY, Derlin discovered that Vorne had staged a shockboxing fight between the Barabel Tull Raine, Outer Rim Ponderweight Champion, and the Calian near-Human Lobar Aybock. The Corporation had rights over Aybock's corpse should he died during the fight, and Vorne had fixed it with technology and a slicer so that Aybock would lose no matter what: Vorne's slicer would lower Aybock's shields during the fight so that Aybock would be punched. Vorne had already auctioned and sold Aybock's organs. This was something Derlin disapproved.
Derlin prepared his own counter-plan. Should Aybock win and become a hero, then Vorne would have to face repercussions for his fix. To do so, Derlin recruited his own slicer, Sergeant Dansra Beezer, to counter Vorne's slicer during the fight; and a burly Reussi, Tisocco, for security. Derlin then traveled to Reuss to contact Aybock. Aybock and his team—Chevin trainer Eedund Cus and Gungan medic Stitchy were unreceptive to Derlin, even after Derlin revealed he had seen Aybock defeating the Esoomian Tontruk on Vycinyth in an unprecedented victory. Derlin tried to be polite, and insisted that they could turn the fix into a fair combat. Aybock finally agreed only to a fair combat—meaning the slicer not lowering his opponent's shields either. Having obtained Aybock's collaboration, Derlin asked whether Aybock still used to run to the stadium before the combat and, when he said he did, Derlin shared a look with Skinto. Aybock finally decided that Derlin was not necessarily bad, although Aybock's teammates were still unsure about the situation.
The following day, when Aybock was running to warm up, he was approached by Rust Rats who cheered him up and asked for his autograph. Aybock eventually believed that it could be a publicity stunt by Derlin, but he decided that those orphaned children were worth to fight for. Aybock went to the arena and a journalist tried to ask him an untimely question on Vorne's criminal activities. A Defel security being sent by Vorne tried to attack her, but he was opposed by Tisocco.
Aybock fought Raine for ten phases. Vorne, in the audience, was aghast at this, and he sent his Defel and other thugs to ensure his fix to work. Aybock noticed this and he hoped Derlin had provided Beezer with security. In fact, Derlin had charged Tisocco with this task: Tisocco was injured in his shoulder, but the Defel could not stop Beezer. During the last phase of the fight, Aybock heard the Rats cheering his name, and that prompted him to fight. He managed to defeat Raine in a fair fight, as Derlin had intended him to. As a consequence of this operation, the New Republic could suspend the Corporation's license to work at Reuss and start an official investigation, and Vorne became a fugitive. The New Republic took over the government of Reuss VIII.
Colonel Derlin, Coruscant tactical defense forceEdit
- "Colonel Derlin can get the job done."
- ―Leia Organa Solo
Less than two weeks after Aybock's victory, Derlin accepted a promotion to colonel. From that point on, Derlin would perform more bureaucratic tasks for the New Republic. Derlin sent Aybock a holographic message with details on the consequences of their success. Derlin also offered the command of the 32nd unit to Lieutenant Page, who rejected a promotion, but accepted the responsibility. Page made important changes in the 32nd, renaming it "Page's Commandos" and later "Katarn Commandos."
After the end of the war, Derlin attended to a ceremony that served as a memorial for all the Rebel soldiers who had died on Hoth. More than one hundred survivors of the battle, including Derlin and Skywalker, were there.
Eventually the New Republic captured the capital planet of the galaxy, Coruscant, but they then needed a tactical defense force to protect it against further attacks. New Republic dignitary Leia Organa Solo, who had worked with Derlin on Hoth and on Endor, repeatedly maintained that Colonel Derlin—by then one of the more famous officers of the Republic—could handle any task they could give him, and supported Derlin to be part of the tactic defense force.
In 9 ABY, forces of the Galactic Empire commanded by Grand Admiral Thrawn had an aggressive campaign against the Republic, including a raid against Coruscant. Organa Solo and her assistant, Winter, walked through their headquarters talking about reports sent by Colonel Derlin. Following their words, Colonel Derlin reported that a scoundrel from Pantolomin offered to sell information on the Imperial shipyards at Ord Trasi, but Derlin was considered whether this smuggler was trustworthy or not. Derlin had sent Wing Commander Diblen Harleys to check the criminal's story. However, Organa Solo and Winter knew that they were being spied and had their conversation only to not reveal really important information.
Colonel Derlin and the presumed Battle of TangreneEdit
- "We certainly don't want to disappoint the Imperials planning the trap for us at Tangrene, so Colonel Derlin will be in charge of creating the illusion that that system is indeed our target. While he does that, Admiral Ackbar and I will be organizing the actual attack on Bilbringi. Any questions?"
- ―General Crix Madine
Thrawn's raids against the New Republic advanced to the point of threatening the new government's survival. The Empire had sieged Coruscant using cloaked asteroids. The New Republic discovered that the technology needed to overcome this problem was one crystal gravfield trap, but they had none. New Republic Intelligence discovered that the Empire did have these traps in three of their fortress worlds, including Bilbringi and Tangrene. Tangrene, seat of an Imperial Ubiqtorate base, was a strongly protected fortress world, guarded by at least two Imperial-class Star Destroyers, ten to fifty smaller starships and recently-improved shield generators. However, Bilbringi, the main Imperial shipyard, was far more protected.
Thrawn knew that the New Republic needed a crystal gravfield trap, and the New Republic knew that Thrawn knew this. New Republic commanders, including Admiral Ackbar and General Madine, believed that Thrawn intended to lay a trap for them on Tangrene. In an attempt to trick him, Ackbar and Madine decided to stage a raid against Bilbringi, with the secondary goals of damaging a widely important Imperial asset and Thrawn's reputation of infallibility. To do so, Colonel Derlin would move troops and fleets as if they were preparing an attack against Tangrene to mislead Imperial Intelligence, while Ackbar and Madine were busy with the preparations of the real battle. Those constant movements would exhaust the Republic's resources, leaving many areas without any protection. Three days after the Fall of Generis, Ackbar, Derlin and Madine gathered many officers on the war room of a Star Cruiser to brief them on the plan.
Indeed Derlin sent two sector fleets to the Tangrene system and to the nearby Draukyze system, unloaded cargo and gave constant clues on their intentions. Imperial Intelligence had to gather data but they mistakenly assumed, with a 94% of probability, that the New Republic intended to attack Tangrene. Thrawn's right-hand man, Captain Gilad Pellaeon, indeed believed so. However, Admiral Thrawn saw through the deception and organized an important defense on Bilbringi, not only because he believed that it was in real risk, but also because the cost of losing Bilbringi would exceed by far the cost of losing Tangrene. Captain Pellaeon, tricked by Derlin's actions, repeatedly and vainly tried to change Thrawn's mind.
However, Derlin's preparations were also noticed by Talon Karrde, information broker and leader of the Smugglers' Alliance. Karrde assumed that the New Republic and the Empire would fight on Tangrene, leaving Bilbringi relatively unprotected. This would supposedly allow the Smugglers' Alliance to sneak on Bilbringi, steal the crystal gravfield trap there and later, sell it to the Republic. Because of this, the smugglers finally ended in the midst of the Battle of Bilbringi, changing its tide and helping in Thrawn's final defeat.
Brigadier Bren Derlin, Ret.Edit
- "Thank you for your inquiry. Due to the current military situation, the AVVA board of governors has placed the membership on a status two alert. For security reasons, access to past and current volumes of Fleet Watch has been restricted to members only. Please join us in supporting the soldiers and pilots who are even now risking their lives to guard our freedom."
- ―Brigadier Derlin's pre-recorded statement
By 16 ABY, Bren Derlin had became a Brigadier in the Combined Defense Forces of the New Republic, and later had retired. Derlin became the commander of the Alliance Veteran's Victory Association, a retiree's club that hoped to become the fleet's ready reserve. The newspacket of this association, Fleet Watch was reputedly an updated and trustworthy newsreel.
During the so-called Black Fleet Crisis, Luke Skywalker decided to look for information using Fleet Watch. A holographic recording of a uniformed Brigadier Derlin greeted him and notified that, due to the state of alert caused by the Crisis, access to old issues had been restricted to non-members. Skywalker then interacted with the recording and checked the available information.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "A lot of the younger soldiers think we oughta be zipping around the battlefield on jetpacks. But one direct hit, and you're grounded, maybe forever."
- ―Major Derlin
Bren Derlin sported different styles of mustaches through the years. He had several characteristic tics, including massaging his left hand with the right one, clasping both of them to his back, smoothing down his right eyebrow with two fingers, and cocking his head slightly to one side. Sometimes, he sent people to action wishing them good luck and the company of the Force.
As a military officer, he was devoted to the lives of people under his command or his protection, and he obtained the respect of any soldier serving under him, as well as of several of his superior officers such as Generals Rieekan and Madine. When forced to give an assignment to off-duty officers, Derlin was known to apologize.
In opposition to many young soldiers, Bren Derlin rejected the widespread use of jetpacks because this technology was prone to fatal failure when receiving only one shot, and this was potentially lethal for the user in his opinion. Instead, he used more widespread technology including a BlasTech DH-17 blaster pistol during his service on Hoth, as well as macrobinoculars and a comlink. While on Endor, he added a low-feedback scanner, sensor scramblers and camouflage fatigues to his gear. During the siege of Coruscant, he replaced his comlink with an encrypted one, his fatigues with a New Republic uniform, and his weapon with a heavy blaster pistol. He also carried with him a datapad containing Klawthra's Military Tactics Journal.
While Bren Derlin was the son of a Senator, he disliked talking about his high birth and would rather let his actions talk for him. Derlin was considered a quiet and unassuming man; nonetheless, he befriended several fellow officers, including Wing Commander Diblen Harleys during the days of the New Republic, and Commander Luke Skywalker and Captain Han Solo during their service on Hoth. The usual patrons at Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina on Mos Eisley, Tatooine, were familiar with Derlin and knew him by name.
From his beginnings as an officer, Derlin became an expert in survival and in tactics, specializing in squads. He was also an excellent fighter, be it in a melee, with a blaster or using artillery, and was an able rider and repulsorlift pilot, while at the same time being able to command a starship. His skills improved with time, with him becoming a better leader by 4 ABY. As a New Republic officer, he was already familiar with many further skills, including the operation of ground vehicles, computer sciences, the bureaucracy of the New Republic, a second specialization in ground assault tactics and many knowledge skills; he also became an expert commander for the New Republic ground forces of Coruscant.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Empire Strikes Back portrayalEdit
- "Yes, Cliff Clavin, the Boston letter carrier and know-it-all barfly, is in The Empire Strikes Back—at least for a couple of scenes and a couple of lines. It's the mustachioed Ratzenberger, clad in his snow gear, who regretfully informs Princess Leia that the shield doors of Echo Base must be closed against the Hoth night, even though Han Solo hasn't returned from his hunt for Luke Skywalker."
- ―Jason Fry
Major Derlin first appeared in the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back. He was later seen in the movie The Empire Strikes Back, where he was played by John Ratzenberger. Ratzenberger, an American from New England living in London, filmed his scenes during one week on a set at Elstree Studios, in the northern suburbs of London. As both his scenes (The closing of the main door and the briefing of the pilots) were on interior sets, Ratzenberger was not required to go to the Finse Glacier, where location shots of Hoth were filmed. John Ratzenberger later gained public acclaim by playing postman Cliff Clavin in the successful TV sitcom Cheers. In 2006, an action figure representing Derlin was first produced, as a part of the "Battle of Hoth" series for the Saga Collection.
Return of the Jedi portrayalEdit
Ratzenberger did not appear in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, but Expanded Universe material, including Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi, identify that Derlin was a specific member of the commandos seen in the movie. The official website's Databank explains that a different, uncredited actor played Derlin in the movie.
Expanded Universe portrayalEdit
A trading card by Decipher mentions that "in the Mos Eisley cantina, everybody knows his [Derlin's] name." This is a reference to Ratzenberger playing a role in the TV series Cheers, were the tune mentioned "where everybody knows your name." The card also provided specific rules where the character Derlin was more powerful than usual when at the cantina.
- "Talking about leaving again…? You're a good man in a fight, Solo. General Rieekan and the rest of us hate to lose you."
"Thanks, Major. But there's a price on my head. If I don't pay off Jabba the Hut [sic]… I'm a walking dead man."
- ―Major Derlin and Han Solo, in the Marvel Comic adaptation of Empire Strikes Back
Major Derlin appears in Star Wars 39: The Empire Strikes Back: Beginning, the adaptation of the movie by Marvel Comics. In this issue, Han Solo mentions his reasons to leave not to General Rieekan, but to a mustachioed man explicitly identified as "Major" who looks like Ratzenberger's character and who later appears when closing the main door.
In Star Wars Manga: The Empire Strikes Back 1, the manga adaptation of the movie, the officer telling Leia Organa to close the main door is drawn without many details: His eyes are hidden by the shadow of his headgear, but he clearly lacks a mustache. Leia agrees to close the door and then this officer salutes her. Later, when Leia is briefing the pilot, a different officer is with her. This man is not built like the previous officer and has a big mustache shaped like an inverted U.
The ambiguously-canonical role-playing adventure The New Republic Campaign: The Battle for Endor from the PCs' Perspective, published in the Polyhedron magazine, features Major Derlin recruiting the player characters for his Endor strike team. While the events on this adventure do not contradict directly the canon, the reasons for Derlin calling the player characters arguably could do: Derlin was reportedly impressed by the player characters' previous success obtaining the schematics of the Death Star during a previous adventure.
Gaming and statisticsEdit
- "At the Mos Eisley Cantina, everybody knows his name."
- ―Major Derlin's Decipher trading card
Derlin is mentioned in several role-playing books, specially those published by West End Games. Information on Derlin is occasionally repeated or partially repeated, including:
The text about Derlin on Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back are exactly reproduced in The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook, except for one paragraph. Derlin is also mentioned in a section about Ledick Firest in Galaxy Guide 3, but this section is utterly omitted in The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook. Galaxy Guide 3 also includes the short story "The Horror By Night", which is partially reproduced in The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook, except for several omitted paragraphs that mention Derlin. The adventure "Freedom No More", featuring Derlin, is printed in Galaxy Guide 3 but not in The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook. Lastly, roleplaying stats for Derlin are equal in both books, except because Derlin's character points are eleven in Galaxy Guide 3 and only three in The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook.
The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook also reproduces the text on Derlin from Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi, including the short story "Night Attack." The adventure "Remnants of the Empire," featuring Derlin, appears only in Galaxy Guide 5. Derlin's role-playing stats from Galaxy Guide 5, representing a more experienced Derlin two years after Hoth, are exactly reproduced in The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook, but on an abridged form because the previous stats are available.
Derlin is mentioned in his own section and in Diblen Harleys' in both The Last Command Sourcebook and later The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook with the same text. The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook also mentions Derlin in a section about Lieutenant Page that had not appeared in the previous The Last Command Sourcebook. Derlin has different role-playing stats representing his skills as of 2 ABY, 4 ABY and 9 ABY; as explained in the role-playing game rules, this represents Derlin becoming more skillful with experience.
Derlin also has gaming stats in the video-game Rebellion, but they vary within a range every time the game is played. In this game, Derlin has mediocre skill levels, comparable to most other military characters. However, he had an infrequent 20% possibility of being a Force-sensitive potential Jedi. The player could promote Derlin to General or Commander, but not to Admiral.
His stats in the Decipher card game are neither too high nor too low. He had special rules to be more useful not only when deployed either on Chalmun's Cantina, but also when deployed on Hoth. Derlin also had a trading card for Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Trading Card Game; in this game, his character can provide armor to other ground units in his side.