- "The fanatical Grand Admiral Il-Raz committed suicide by plunging his flagship into the heart of the Denarii Nova."
- ―New Republic historical document
A fanatical supporter of the New Order and its core precepts, Ishin-Il-Raz was one of the original twelve Grand Admirals appointed by Emperor Palpatine two years before the Battle of Yavin. Early in his life, Il-Raz helped found the Commission for the Protection of the Republic, and when it was re-formed in 19 BBY, he became the leader of the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order, and was a key figure in the development of its Humanocentric ideas and concepts.
His efforts eventually came to the attention of Palpatine, who gave him the rank of Grand Admiral, despite Il-Raz's complete lack of military experience. This appointment was met with much criticism, and Il-Raz knew that his appointment was purely a political one. Il-Raz began to idolize Palpatine, and initiated a series of bloody massacres in an attempt to win favor with the Emperor. These atrocities, however, did nothing more than reduce public opinion of him, and when Palpatine was killed at Endor in 4 ABY, Il-Raz was largely forgotten by his fellow Grand Admirals, who turned warlord and fought with each other. Distraught at Palpatine's death, Il-Raz began to contemplate suicide, and eight months after Endor, he plunged his Star Destroyer into the Denarii Nova, killing himself and thousands of others.
- "COMPNOR is about to lead our Empire into a thousand years of dominance. To our Emperor, and to all Imperial citizens, we report for duty."
- ―Ishin-Il-Raz at the inaugural COMPNOR rally
Ishin-Il-Raz's beginnings were largely unknown, though he eventually became a key figure in the Commission for the Protection of the Republic. Il-Raz proved a formidable public speaker, and became COMPOR's chief spokesman at a relatively young age. Established midway through the devastating Clone Wars, the Commission for the Protection of the Republic was a body of volunteers who offered their support to Chancellor Palpatine in whatever ways it could, including various types of rallies and resource drives, as well as lucrative schemes. Fiercely patriotic, Il-Raz was unperturbed when Chancellor Palpatine dissolved the Republic and formed the first Galactic Empire, naming himself the Galactic Emperor. COMPOR was reformed and renamed as the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order, which aimed to institutionalize discrimination and Human High Culture, mostly through means of propaganda. Il-Raz was heavily involved in the establishment of COMPNOR, and was the driving force behind many of their core concepts.
Il-Raz was the key speaker at the inaugural rally of COMPNOR on Imperial Center some time after the formation of the Galactic Empire. He told the masses who had congregated at the Glitannai Esplanade that COMPNOR would lead the Empire into a millennia-long era of prosperity, and urged his fellow Imperial citizens to volunteer and join the Commission, telling them that if they did not, they would be outcast by their peers. Although Palpatine did not attend the rally personally, he sent one of his advisors, Crueya Vandron, to view the proceedings. The Emperor was impressed by Il-Raz's devotion and faithfulness to the New Order, and would continue to watch him for several years.
Il-Raz became the head of COMPNOR's Select Committee, and was influential in the hundreds of recruitment drives that followed COMPNOR's founding. He continued to serve COMPNOR, gaining a reputation as a fanatical supporter of Palpatine and the Empire. His political progress came to the attention of Palpatine, and despite Il-Raz's complete and utter lack of any form of military experience, he was among the twelve Grand Admirals named by Palpatine two years before the Battle of Yavin. The rank was a completely new one, created by Palpatine to reward some of his most loyal servants; others included in the "circle of twelve" were Josef Grunger, Octavian Grant, Rufaan Tigellinus and Demetrius Zaarin. Because he was not appointed for any military or strategic ability—indeed, he was wholly lacking in any martial talents—he was left somewhat isolated among his peers, who were far more capable than he.
However, Il-Raz's appointment, as well as several of the other Grand Admiral's, was heavily criticized in the wake of the creation of the rank. Many argued that Palpatine was not a military-minded man, and appointments of such importance should have been left to those who were truly experienced in warfare. Palpatine's critics always looked to Ishin-Il-Raz when arguing this point; the man was, in the eyes of most, the weakest and least talented of the Grand Admirals appointed. None, however, were outspoken enough to openly criticize the Emperor, and Il-Raz kept his post unchallenged, though he knew full well that his had been a political appointment, made only because of his work with COMPNOR.
Il-Raz knew of the motivations behind his appointment as a Grand Admiral, though he sought to at least show Palpatine that he was capable for such a lofty position. Palpatine became an idol to Ishin, and all of his military exploits were designed to gain him favor in the Emperor's eyes. To this end he perpetrated various atrocities such as the massacre of Myomar and the bombardment of the planet Shalam. However, while these genocides did earn him respect in the eyes of many, he was often grouped among the likes of lowly criminals, such as the Devaronian war criminal Kardue'sai'Malloc. Nevertheless, Il-Raz's position was never seriously threatened, despite his being one of the least popular of Palpatine's Grand Admirals, and he kept his post until the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY.
The Battle of Endor proved disastrous for the Empire; Palpatine and his enforcer, Darth Vader, were killed aboard the second Death Star, throwing the Empire into a state of chaos. The Death Star was destroyed by the Alliance to Restore the Republic, taking many of the Empire's highest ranked individuals, among them several of Il-Raz's fellow Grand Admirals, with it to the grave. While many of his colleagues turned warlord and battled over territorial disputes, Ishin-Il-Raz became depressed, knowing that the only reason he achieved such a lofty position, Emperor Palpatine, was gone; he knew that his career was in shambles, and that he would be unable to hold his own if he entered battle with any of the other Grand Admirals.
Il-Raz was visibly distressed and upset about the death of his idol, and his mental state began to deteriorate, resulting in him leading a series of attacks on random Outer Rim worlds. Most ignored him, thinking he was not a threat to their efforts to claim a stake of the Empire, though at least one of his fellow Grand Admirals, Peccati Syn, let Il-Raz borrow his copy of the Church of the Dark Side's sacred text, Secrets of the Dark Side, in the hopes that it would heal his wounds and coax him out of his depression. Syn's efforts failed, and Il-Raz slowly became more and more unstable, until he found the only viable solution to his predicament: suicide. Eight months after Palpatine's death, Ishin-Il-Raz took command of his Star Destroyer, Emperor's Disciple, and plunged it into the Denarii Nova, killing the entire crew, as well as many others. Ultimately, over thirty-seven thousand lives were lost in addition to his own. Ishin-Il-Raz died while chanting the ideas and precepts of the Select Committee, which he had devoted his life to.
Personality and traitsEdit
Il-Raz was extremely devoted to the Imperial cause, and served his superiors as loyally as he was able. His devotion to the Emperor ran so deep that when Palpatine perished aboard the second Death Star, Il-Raz found little purpose in continuing his own life. Il-Raz was also intelligent, and did not harbor any false ideas about his lofty rank in the Empire, knowing that he was no match in terms of tactical awareness and skills in comparison to his peers, who had achieved their rank because of their ability. Early in his life, Il-Raz was a strong leader, and a talented public speaker, known for the ferocity of his politics. However, after his unprecedented appointment in 1 BBY, he was seen as more of an outcast than a leader.
Il-Raz was happy to perform mass killings of others to further his own means, and cared little for the lives of others, particularly those of non-Human origin. On his orders, thousands of people were killed, for no purpose other than to attempt to make Il-Raz look good in Palpatine's eyes. During his COMPNOR days, Ishin was not adverse to the use of propaganda and fear-mongering in order to keep the population loyal to the Empire. Also, Il-Raz became mentally and emotionally unstable after the battle of Endor, and unlike virtually all of Palpatine's greatest admirers, was unable to deal with his death. His ultimate solution was to kill himself, though the ideals of his beloved Empire stayed with him until the end.
Behind the scenesEdit
Ishin-Il-Raz was created by author Daniel Wallace for The Essential Chronology. Wallace later expanded Il-Raz's backstory in Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals, with co-writer Abel G. Peña making only minor adjustments. Il-Raz later appeared in a HoloNet news article appearing in Star Wars Insider 84, written again by Daniel Wallace, this time with Pablo Hidalgo. He was given a brief mention in the Death Star novel, written by Steve Perry and Michael Reaves, and the Rebellion Era Sourcebook.
Ishin-Il-Raz was illustrated by Joe Corroney in Star Wars Insider 66 and 84, the only two illustrations of him to date. Both renderings were based on Maikel Das, a regular contributor for the Official German Star Wars Fan Club magazine.
The Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals article appearing in Insider 66 was originally slated to appear in Star Wars Gamer, though when the magazine was discontinued, it instead appeared in Insider. The original Gamer article, titled Dirty Dozen: Imperial Grand Admirals, established that after realizing he was loathed among his peers, Il-Raz began to study naval tactics, making him slightly more competent in that department. Unlike many of the other Grand Admirals, Il-Raz's biography published in Insider differed little from the original version slated to appear in Gamer.
- Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:241 (First appearance)
- Death Star (Mentioned only)
- The Essential Chronology (First mentioned)
- Rebellion Era Sourcebook
- "Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals"—Star Wars Insider 66
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 67
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:241
- ↑ Death Star
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ Abel G. Peña as "Halagad" (February 7, 2005 08:33 PM). The other Imperial Grand Admirals…. StarWars.com Message Boards. Archived from the original on May 24, 2010. Retrieved on May 24, 2010.
- ↑ Based on a leaked Microsoft Word document of the original Who's Who article slated to appear in Star Wars Gamer