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"There goes another one."
"Hold your fire."
―Hija and Bolvan[src]

Chief gunnery officer was an assignment given on Star Destroyers of the Imperial Navy. Under the gunnery captain's command, the chief gunnery officer managed the main weaponry of the Star Destroyer. In 7 BBY, Lieutenant Hija served as the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Devastator's chief gunnery officer during the bombardment of the planet Falleen, and, by 0 BBY, Hija was still in service during the Devastator's capture of the Rebel Alliance CR90 corvette Tantive IV. Later in 0 BBY, Niclara Varnillian was the chief gunnery officer of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Pulsar. She would be demoted following her failure to capture Alliance operatives on the planet Ord Mantell. During the New Republic era, Reagal Eron served as the Star Destroyer Eradicator's chief gunnery officer.

DescriptionEdit

Chief gunnery officer was an assignment on the Star Destroyers of the Galactic Empire's Navy, which could be given to a naval lieutenant. Only one member of this officer rank could serve on the same starship.[5] The chief gunnery officer managed the main weaponry of the vessel under the command of the gunnery captain.[1]

HistoryEdit

Hija-ANH

Lieutenant Hija

The Human male[6] Lieutenant Hija served the Imperial Navy as the chief gunnery officer aboard the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Devastator, where he managed the Star Destroyer's main weaponry.[1] In 7 BBY, he was in charge when the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader ordered the bombardment of the planet Falleen in order to stop a bacterial plague that was spreading from a laboratory on the planet.[4]

Seven years later, during the battle of Tatooine in the Galactic Civil War, Hija, still serving aboard the Devastator, spotted an escape pod jettisoned from the captured Tantive IV, one of the Rebel Alliance's CR90 corvettes. However, his superior, Gunnery Captain Bolvan, ordered him not to fire because the Star Destroyer's gunnery sensors indicated that no lifeforms were aboard. The escape pod, in truth, contained the Rebel droids C-3PO and R2-D2, in possession of the stolen plans for the Empire's DS-1 Orbital Battle Station superweapon.[1]

Later in 0 BBY, shortly after the battle of Tatooine, the Human female Niclara Varnillian became chief gunnery officer on the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Pulsar in between the Empire's destruction of her homeworld Alderaan and the Battle of Yavin.[2] In 3 ABY,[7] Varnillian was on leave on the planet Ord Mantell when she recognized Alliance operatives Lieutenant Commander Anson Blazer and Lieutenant Alton Lochner. Along with Imperial soldiers, Varnillian botched her attempt to capture the pair, resulting in a firefight that led to several Imperial soldier and civilian fatalities. Though Varnillian still managed to return to the Pulsar with a pair of Alliance captives, she was subsequently demoted for the failed mission.[2]

At some point during the New Republic era, Reagal Eron served as the chief gunnery officer of the Star Destroyer Eradicator. During that service, Eron recounted a prior incident, during which the individual had served as the adjutant of Imperial Governor Isis, of witnessing bounty hunter Boba Fett collect his reward for the capture of pirate Feldrall Okor.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit

The rank of chief gunnery officer first appeared in the December 1976 novelization of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,[1] ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster.[8] In the novel, Hija was referred to as one of Bolvan's chief gunnery officers, but later sources suggest that there was only one of this officer on the Devastator.[5][9][10] Hija was addressed as "Chief Pilot" in the Revised Fourth Draft of A New Hope.[5] In 1994, Galaxy Guide 10: Bounty Hunters released the story This Guy Just Doesn't Care, which featured a narrative told from the perspective of Reagal Eron, the chief gunnery officer of the Star Destroyer Eradicator.[3] 1995's Wanted by Cracken, published in Star Wars Adventure Journal 8, introduced Niclara Varnillian, the chief gunnery officer for the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Pulsar.[2]

AppearancesEdit

Non-canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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