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"He is as clumsy as he is stupid."
―Darth Vader, referring to Kendal Ozzel[src]

Kendal Ozzel was a human male officer who served the Galactic Republic and the Galactic Empire in turn. Born on the planet Carida prior to the rise of the Empire, he served in the Republic Navy as a commissioned officer during the Clone Wars—a civil war fought in the galaxy during the last years of the Republic. After the war, his military career would continue under the new regime established by Emperor Sheev Palpatine.

As an admiral, Ozzel was the commanding officer of the Executor—an Imperial Navy Executor-class Star Dreadnought and the flagship of the Sith Lord Darth Vader—at the time of the Galactic Civil War. In the year 3 ABY, he oversaw the initial attack on Hoth after the Empire discovered the location of the Rebel Alliance's secret base, but was summarily executed by way of the Force as a result of Vader's displeasure in the admiral's fundamentally incompetent tactics. Following Ozzel's death, his rank and command were awarded to his captain, Firmus Piett, by the Dark Lord.


"We have thousands of probe droids searching the galaxy. I want proof, not leads!"
―Admiral Ozzel[src]

A male human born into a wealthy family from Carida, Kendal Ozzel attended multiple Core World institutes in his youth. Eventually, he graduated and became a Captain of the Line. However, his superiors did not see him fit to serve as an effective field commander, and he was relegated to teaching positions for a while.[6]

Ozzel served for a time in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars.[4] Eventually, he ended up serving in the navy of the Galactic Empire. In 14 BBY, he held the rank of Rear Admiral, and was a member of the Joint Chiefs.[5]

Tagge's death

Ozzel witnesses Tagge's death at Vader's hand, a fate he would one day share.

Following the destruction of the First Death Star, he had become an Admiral. He personally issued a communique to the Imperial Starfleet ordering the fleet to enter battle readiness.[7] After this occurred the Hijacking of the Executor, in which the Sith Lord Darth Vader dispatched the scientist Cylo, who had attempted to steal the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor. The SSD was originally designed to be given to Grand General Cassio Tagge, however, the Emperor demoted him to General, and gave the Executor to Vader, due to Tagge's trust of Cylo. Vader force choked Tagge on his new command ship's bridge in front of Ozzel. Vader asked him when the Executor would be ready, and gave him two weeks, after Ozzel replied he needed a month.[8] After Captain Magna Tolvan failed to capture Chelli Lona Aphra, who was investigating the Great Temple, Ozzel contacted the captain, and warned her that Vader would be less forgiving of failure than Cassio Tagge, her former commanding officer.[9]


Ozzel and Piett preparing for the attack on Hoth.

He later became the commanding officer[2] of the Death Squadron, an armada of Imperial vessels[10] tasked with locating the Alliance's hidden main base in the aftermath of the Battle of Yavin, though the fleet was under the de facto control of Vader. In his capacity as admiral of the fleet, Ozzel led Death Squadron from Vader's flagship, the Executor.[2] As he had been assigned to oversee the Empire's search for the Rebel headquarters, Ozzel felt that he was the perfect being to command the massive warship during the hunt.[3] During his time as the senior officer aboard the Executor, Ozzel took time to personally congratulate Lieutenant Commander Ciena Ree, a young officer whose service had been outstanding for the past two years. After commending Ree for her dedication, the admiral implied that she might obtain a promotion to the rank of Commander soon enough.[11]

The Empire dispatched thousands of probe droids throughout the galaxy to participate in the search for the Rebel base, one of which discovered signs of an occupied settlement on the ice planet Hoth. Before being destroyed by Rebel Captain Han Solo, the droid relayed its data to the Executor, where it was reviewed by Admiral Ozzel, his subordinate, Captain Firmus Piett, and General Maximillian Veers of the Imperial Army. Piett cited the data as their best lead in the search, but Ozzel dismissed the information as lacking definitive proof of any Rebel presence. Nevertheless, Vader overruled him and ordered the fleet to make haste to the Hoth system to deal with the Rebels headquartered there.[2]

As Vader withdrew to his private quarters, Ozzel assumed command of the fleet's maneuvering and pre-battle strategy. Believing he could surprise and overwhelm the Rebels, Ozzel opted to have the Star Destroyers of Death Squadron emerge from hyperspace directly above Hoth. The Alliance detected their arrival immediately, but the tactic did not shock them as Ozzel had planned, for the presence of the probe droid had made them suspect that the Empire had discovered their base. Before Death Squadron could initiate an orbital bombardment, the Rebels activated the base's shield, which was powerful enough to deflect any laser barrage unleashed by the Imperial warships; even the full firepower of the Executor wouldn't be able to breach it.[2]

Ozzel croaks

Vader personally saw to it that Ozzel's tactical blunder at Hoth was his last mistake.

General Veers reported this development to Vader, who voiced his disapproval at the admiral's tactical blunder as they would now be forced to deploy troops and equipment into a costly ground battle rather than simply annihilate the Rebels from space. The Sith Lord opened a channel to Ozzel on the Executor's bridge and, before an oblivious Ozzel could report on the situation, began telekinetically strangling the admiral in full view of Captain Piett and others. Citing the tactical decision as Ozzel's final failure, Vader executed the pompous and inept officer and simultaneously promoted Piett to take his place as admiral, bestowing the title at the exact moment Ozzel's still-twitching corpse hit the floor. The Empire went on to win the Battle of Hoth despite Ozzel's actions.[2]

Personality and traitsEdit

"Lord Vader, the fleet has moved out of lightspeed, and we're preparing to…"
"You have failed me for the last time, Admiral."
―Ozzel reports to Vader, mere moments before his execution[src]

Standing 1.75 meters tall, Admiral Kendal Ozzel was a smug and arrogant man who fancied himself the obvious choice to command the Executor. In his position as the ranking officer of Darth Vader's Death Squadron, he often tested the Sith Lord's patience by challenging his orders[3] and making foolish tactical decisions.[2] Ozzel's subordinate, the ambitious Captain Piett, had nothing but contempt for the admiral, whom he considered incompetent.[12] Ultimately, Ozzel's personality, combined with his blunder in the opening stages of the Battle of Hoth, persuaded Vader to immediately—and permanently—remove him from command.[2]

A man of science and warfare, Ozzel did not think much of Darth Vader's use of the Force, which the admiral regarded as vulgar hocus-pocus. Despite that, Ozzel was still terrified of Vader, like most other officers. Ambitious young captains like Firmus Piett annoyed him; in particular, Ozzel thought Piett was entirely too enthusiastic, as if everything he said might have proved sufficient for a promotion.[13]

Behind the scenesEdit

Admiral Ozzel appeared in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1980. In his two brief scenes, he was portrayed by actor Michael Sheard.[2]

Before the Lucasfilm Story Group initiated a reboot of Star Wars canon in anticipation of the sequel trilogy, Ozzel's backstory had been explored and developed in a number of sources, which detailed his career as an officer serving both the Galactic Republic and the Empire and established his first name. However, the vast majority of this information has been relegated to the "Legends" realm of Star Wars continuity; as such, this article reflects only information found within the new established canon, which includes the films and the Encyclopedia.

In the reference book Ultimate Star Wars, Ozzel's first name was mistakenly spelled as "Kendel" instead of "Kendal."[14]



Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit