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- "The more complex a weapon, the more likely it is to have flaws."
- ―Jaim Helaw commenting on the Death Star shortly before his death.
Admiral Jaim Helaw was a Human male who served as an “old school” Imperial Navy officer who had been on the front line of a dozen major battles throughout his career. He was the captain of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Undauntable and was killed when the ship was destroyed in an act of sabotage in 0 BBY.
As a young second lieutenant in the Republic Navy, Helaw was involved in an action to clear a pirate stronghold in the Vergesso Asteroids. A group of approximately 120 pirates had barricaded themselves within a domed city on a moon in the system and Helaw led a squad to help eliminate them in close-quarters fighting. Helaw’s squad defeated a group of about 25 pirates, although at a cost, with the unfortunate death of Kan Pojo.
Helaw later held the rank of captain onboard the Ion Storm, where he first met Conan Antonio Motti, newly promoted to first lieutenant. The two had a long history and remained friends until Helaw’s death. Helaw remained a field officer throughout his career, despite attempts by Motti to interest him in the political arena on Imperial Center. As a result, Motti eventually overtook his former commander, but always considered him to have been a formidable potential Moff.
Helaw was eventually promoted to the rank of admiral and captained the Undauntable in the sector fleet under Motti’s command charged with protecting the construction of the Death Star. He planned to retire shortly after the completion of the project but was killed when a Rebel saboteur detonated a cargo container rigged full of explosives stored in the ship’s aft cargo hold. The Undauntable was lost with all hands, including Helaw.
The incident was later covered up at the direction of Grand Moff Tarkin and with the reluctant complicity of Motti and Admiral Daala. The decision was taken because Tarkin wanted free reins with the Death Star and refused to have Vader pay another visit to the Death Star and "complicate matters", thus the destruction of the Undauntable was held to be an accident and the blame was posthumously laid at the feet of Helaw, tarnishing an otherwise exemplary career; although, despite the age of the ship, it had been maintained in excellent condition under his command. While Motti at first balked at and resisted tarnishing his friend's reputation, Tarkin argued that Helaw had been a career officer, utterly loyal to the Navy, and that he would have wanted what was best for the Navy. Unconvinced, but understanding that Tarkin could turn this into an order whenever he wanted, Motti relented and helped cover up the sabotage.
- Death Star (First appearance)