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Kendal Ozzel

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"He is as clumsy as he is stupid."
―Darth Vader[src]

A pretentious and arrogant human male, Admiral Kendal Ozzel served in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, he commanded the Death Squadron, a task force of the Imperial Navy charged with finding the hidden headquarters of the Rebel Alliance following the Battle of Yavin. He oversaw this search from the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor, the flagship of the Sith Lord Darth Vader and one of the largest vessels in the Galactic Empire's navy. Upon locating the Rebels' hidden base on the planet Hoth, Admiral Ozzel had Death Squadron emerge from hyperspace directly above the planet—only for the Rebels, alerted to the threat, to raise the base's defensive shield. Forced to initiate a ground-based assault rather than an orbital bombardment, Vader telekinetically strangled Ozzel for his blunder and simultaneously promoted his subordinate, Captain Firmus Piett of the Executor, to fill the command vacancy.

BiographyEdit

"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.[5]

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 the sixth year of the Imperial era, he held the rank of Rear Admiral, and was a member of the Joint Chiefs.[6]

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] He later became the commanding officer[2] of the Death Squadron, an armada of Imperial vessels[8] 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 the Sith Lord Darth Vader. In his capacity as admiral of the task force, Ozzel led Death Squadron from Vader's flagship, the Executor-class Star Dreadnought 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.[9]

Ozzel croaks

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

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. 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.[10] 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]

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 StarWars.com Encyclopedia.

In the reference book Ultimate Star Wars, Ozzel's first name was mistakenly spelled as "Kendel" instead of "Kendal."[11]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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