Hodnar Borrum was a male human who served as an officer in both the Grand Army of the Galactic Republic and its successor, the Imperial Army of the Galactic Empire. Toward the end of the Clone Wars, a three-year-long conflict that concluded with the transition from the Republic to the Empire, Borrum reportedly led the charge against the last stand of the Jedi, personally marshaling clone troopers against a mountain fortress. In the Empire, Borrum became a general, and he served so long that he came to be known as "the Old Man."
However, perhaps because of his old age or his disregard for the Force, Borrum was never made a Grand General, an honor that went to Kenner Loring instead. After the Empire suffered a major defeat at Endor, General Borrum was given a seat in the Shadow Council, a secret ruling body led by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax. Borrum later commanded the Imperial ground forces during the cataclysmic Battle of Jakku, which ended the Galactic Civil War in the New Republic's favor.
Age of the EmpireEdit
Hodnar Borrum served as an officer in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. He personally took part in the Jedi Purge and led Clone troopers against Jedi who had holed themselves up in a mountain fortress on either Madar or Morad. Borrum continued serving in the army of the Galactic Empire and eventually rose to the rank of general. By 5 ABY, Borrum had earned the nickname "the Old Man" among his fellow Imperial Military officers due to his long service to the Republic and the Empire.
Despite his experience and talents as a general, Borrum was not promoted to Grand General. Instead, the position went to Kenner Loring. Some like Grand Admiral Rae Sloane speculated that he had been overlooked due to his age, practicality, and his disdain for the Force, which likely enraged Darth Vader. Borrum was one of the senior Imperial military officers to survive the cataclysmic aftermath of the Battle of Endor. Due to his talents and reputation, Borrum was recruited by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax to his secret Shadow Council, a secret advisory council that governed the remnants of the Empire from behind the scenes. Rax and his figurehead Sloane commanded Imperial forces in the Vulpinus Nebula.
During the inaugural dinner of the Shadow Council, General Borrum remarked that the Empire was facing an interesting inversion. He surmised that many Imperials still had not come to terms with the fact that the Empire was no longer a first-rate power. Sloane and the Imperial propagandist Ferric Obdur concurred and advocated that the Empire act as the underdogs fighting to save the galaxy. Borrum and his comrades' ideas pleased Rax, who entered the room to reveal that he had created the Shadow Council as a brain trust that would rebuild the Empire.
Rax then briefed the Shadow Council that he secretly commanded other Imperial remnant fleets in the Almagest, the Recluse's Nebula, the Queluhan Nebula, the Ro-Loo Triangle, and the Inamorata. When Borrum responded that the Empire still needed boots and armor on the ground, Rax revealed that the Empire still controlled factories on the Outer Rim worlds of Zhadalene, Korrus, and Belladoon. Rax vowed to use these resources as a cord to strangle the New Republic, the successor government to the Rebel Alliance.
Following the attack on Chandrila, General Borrum and his fellow Shadow Council members attended an impromptu meeting with Fleet Admiral Rax, who claimed that Grand Admiral Sloane had been lost to the New Republic and that every effort was being made to recover her. When Rax vowed to continue her vision of the Empire, Borrum asked whether Rax was claiming the mantle of Emperor or Grand Admiral. Rax replied that he was unworthy of those senior positions and instead opted to assume the title of Counselor to the Empire, serving as an interstitial leader until the return of Sloane.
A skeptical Borrum protested that Rax's decision was unprecedented and claimed that doing so would leave the Empire rudderless. Rax countered that the Empire had to evolve and claimed that Counselor would only be a temporary position. Borrum then pointed out that the office of Emperor had not been temporary when Palpatine ceased to be Supreme Chancellor of the former Republic. Rax responded with the single-line "perhaps". When Borrum demanded to know why Rax had brought them to the strategically barren planet of Jakku, Rax claimed that it would be a testing ground for the Empire in the midst of the chaos gripping the New Republic in the wake of the attack on Chandrila. In secret, Rax planned to eliminate Borrum and his fellow Council members with the exception of Commandant Brendol Hux, whom he viewed as essential to his plans.
Showdown on JakkuEdit
For several months, Rax's Imperial remnant waited on Jakku for the New Republic to launch their attack. Rax justified their transfer to Jakku by claiming that the planet's harsh arid conditions would sharpen the Imperials into a stronger, fighting force. In truth, Rax was the executor of the Emperor's posthumous Contingency plan to tear down the Empire and start afresh. This plan involved destroying much of the Empire and bringing a chosen elect into the Unknown Regions to rebuild the Empire. During that period, Borrum was based aboard the Ravager, the Imperial command ship.
After the New Republic sent a probe droid and scout ship to Jakku, Borrum attended a meeting of the Shadow Council. During the meeting, Borrum expressed his impatience with the long wait. He explained that his men were growing weary and exhausted from having to wait on alert for so long. Grand Moff Randd countered that the slow arrival of the New Republic would give the Imperial forces time to bolster their forces. Borrum was also a known collector of Clone Wars artifacts. When Imperial forces captured the B1 battle droid Mister Bones, the Imperial officer Effney considered sending him to Borrum. However, Bones managed to kill Effney and free his master Temmin Wexley's mother Norra Wexley from Imperial captivity.
During the Battle of Jakku, General Borrum commanded the Imperial ground forces on Jakku. Unaware of Rax's true plans, he reassured the Counselor that they would win the battle. Borrum's forces used unconventional tactics to slow down the New Republic landing forces. The tide of the battle turned in the New Republic's favor after the Super Star Destroyer Ravager was brought down, depriving the Imperials of a central command. It is unknown whether Rax perished or survived during the battle, which ended the Galactic Civil War in favor of the New Republic and brought about the disintegration of the Galactic Empire.
Personality and traitsEdit
Hodnar Borrum was a seasoned army officer who served in the armies of the Galactic Republic and the Galactic Empire. He was a practical General who did not believe in the Force. By 5 ABY, Borrum was an old man whose cheeks were marked with deep lines, craggy craters, and dark liver spots. However, his eyes remained sharp and were not clouded by age. Borrum was a sharp and perceptive thinker who like to raise hard questions.
Borrum was critical of Fleet Admiral Rax's strategy and tactics. He objected to Rax's decision to appoint himself Counselor to the Empire; pointing out that he was failing to assume leadership of the Imperial remnants in the wake of Sloane's alleged capture by the New Republic. He was also perplexed by Rax's decision to muster the Imperial remnant fleets above Jakku for a showdown with the New Republic. Borrum regarded Jakku as a strategically unimportant and barren world.
Borrum later voiced criticism of Counselor Rax's decision to bring the Empire to Jakku to await a final showdown with the New Republic. He pointed out that the planet's harsh conditions were exacting a toll on the mental and physical well-being of his men. Borrum later expressed confidence that the Empire would triumph in the Battle of Jakku. He was unaware that Rax was implementing the Emperor's posthumous Contingency plan to destroy the Empire and start anew.
Behind the scenesEdit
Hodnar Borrum first appeared as a secondary character in Chuck Wendig's 2016 and 2017 novels Aftermath: Life Debt and Aftermath: Empire's End, the second and third installments of The Aftermath Trilogy. Most of his lines are told through the point of view of Rae Sloane and Gallius Rax.