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Ledre Okins

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"I thought perhaps Admiral Okins might command the expedition."
"Did you?"
"But if it is your wish, I shall lead the attack."
"It is my wish. You may take Okins if you like, but you are to personally ensure the assault."
―Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine[src]

Ledre Okins, a Human male, was one of the oldest admirals in the upper echelons of the Imperial Navy during the Galactic Civil War. A by-the-books officer, Okins obtained his ranking through years of strict loyalty to the Empire and by simply following orders, rather than by taking great risks or being a tactical genius. Okins' loyalty came to the attention of Emperor Palpatine, who frequently dispatched Okins to lead task forces of fleet commanders who were not following Imperial regulations. Everything Okins observed he reported back to the Emperor.

In 3.5 ABY, shortly following the Battle of Hoth, the Dark Lord Darth Vader tasked Okins with overseeing the destruction of a secret Rebel Alliance shipyard in the Vergesso Asteroids from aboard Vader's personal flagship, the Super Star Destroyer Executor. Okins successfully led a fleet that included the Executor and three supporting Star Destroyers in a tremendous rout of the Rebel shipyard, destroying hundreds of vessels in a great victory for the Empire.

Okins died two years later, in 5 ABY, at the hands of New Republic Admiral Willham Burke, who was jointly spearheading the New Republic's drive into the Core Worlds to retake the Imperial capital planet, Coruscant, following the deaths of the Emperor and Vader at the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY. An extended campaign of raids and feints between the two admirals along the Perlemian Trade Route culminated when Burke tricked Okins into dividing his fleet by sending key forces to the Pindra system, allowing Burke to finally destroy Okins at Colla in a major New Republic victory.

BiographyEdit

The Emperor's toadyEdit

Admiral-okins

Admiral Ledre Okins in 3.5 ABY

Ledre Okins[1] was a highly-placed Imperial Navy admiral during the Galactic Civil War.[4] Okins toiled through years of loyal service to the Empire to reach his position, but his rise through the ranks was not marked by ambitious allies looking to use Okins to further their own standing. Rather, Okins established himself on merit alone,[3] by demonstrating daily competence and simply following orders,[4] and he owed neither favor nor loyalty to anyone but the Empire itself.[3] As a result, Okins was older than many admirals in the Imperial Navy's higher echelons.[4]

Okins' unwavering loyalty to the Empire brought him to the attention of Emperor Palpatine, who considered Okins the perfect lackey to do his bidding. The Emperor often assigned Okins to lead small task forces to eradicate pirates or subjugate planets. Typically, Okins was given authority over a fleet commander who had skirted Imperial regulations and acted on ego and ambition, and an officer finding himself serving under Okins knew that everything that happened would be reported back to the Emperor.[3]

On occasion, Okins was even assigned to some of the Emperor's most trusted advisors, including the Dark Lord Darth Vader, to ensure his master's wishes were carried out.[3] Shortly following the Battle of Hoth[5] in 3 ABY,[6] Vader returned to the Imperial capital planet of Coruscant aboard his flagship, the Super Star Destroyer Executor, to make his report to the Emperor regarding his encounter with his son, Luke Skywalker, on Bespin's Cloud City.[5] Vader brought Okins along with him so that Admiral Firmus Piett, the Executor's commanding officer, could stay with the Imperial Death Squadron, Vader's fleet, to continue the Empire's hunt for the Rebel Alliance.[7]

Vergesso Asteroids assaultEdit

"Have my Interceptor readied."
"My lord, do you think that is—?"
"—wise? It has been too long since I flew in combat, Admiral. I need to flex those muscles. You can handle the shipyard."
―Darth Vader and Admiral Okins[src]

In 3.5 ABY,[8] Okins was present on Coruscant when the Empire learned of the presence of a flourishing Rebel shipyard in the Vergesso Asteroids, which had been operating under Imperial noses. The Emperor tasked Vader with the responsibility of personally overseeing the shipyard's destruction, against Vader's own preference. Vader did not consider it necessary that he go along for the assault, believing any half-competent line officer could see it through to successful completion, so he selected Okins to join him in command of the Executor for the expedition. Outside the Imperial Palace in Coruscant's Imperial City, Vader ordered Okins to assemble a task force in preparation.[9] Supporting the Executor would be the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Avenger and two Victory II-class Star Destroyers, the Victory 1 and the Victory 2.[10]

Vader-Okins-SOTEE

Admiral Okins and Darth Vader man the Executor's bridge during the Vergesso assault.

Nearly a standard week after earning the assignment, Okins and the Executor arrived in the Lybeya system of the Bajic sector, home of the Vergesso Asteroids. The Rebel shipyard, a giant asteroid housing hundreds of docked starships undergoing repair, provided less than a challenging operation. Nevertheless, Vader ordered Okins to open fire as soon as the fleet reached optimum distance, wanting no mistakes. Before Okins could bring his task force to engage the shipyard, however, several Rebel capital ships emerged from behind the asteroid to meet the Imperial attackers, and suddenly Okins was faced with a far greater challenge than simply eliminating a repair yard.[9]

The Rebel capital ships included two EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigates, vessels once belonging to the Empire but which had since fallen into Rebel hands. Okins remarked to an angered Vader that at least the stolen frigates, originally equipped to support Imperial starfighters, would not be unleashing any TIE Fighters upon them. Nevertheless, on cue the Rebel frigates deployed a dozen X-wing fighters to meet the Imperial task force, to the annoyance of Okins. He ordered the Executor's TIE operations officer to scramble their own fighters in response, not caring to waste the Executor's firepower on such insignificant targets. Still, the presence of Rebel fighters proved enticing to Vader, who chose to join the battle in his own custom TIE interceptor, despite Okins' voiced reservations, leaving the destruction of the shipyard solely in the admiral's hands.[9]

Okins led the Imperial task force in eliminating the minor Rebel resistance and obliterating the shipyard, destroying hundreds of Rebel vessels and thousands of troops within—a great victory for the Empire. As soon as the assault concluded, the Executor immediately returned to Coruscant so that Vader could return to his domestic affairs.[9]

Destruction at CollaEdit

Okins' tenure as admiral continued into the period of chaos that followed the climactic Battle of Endor in 4 ABY,[1] in which the Rebel Alliance struck a decisive blow against the Empire that saw the deaths of both the Emperor and Darth Vader, and the splintering of the Imperial Navy into feuding factions. In the months following Endor, the New Republic—the Rebellion's successor state—began its drive into the heart of the Empire to reclaim the galactic capital, Coruscant, opposed by a series of Imperial warlords who had carved out independent territories from the fragmented Empire proper.[11] By the year 5 ABY, Okins, remaining loyal to the fragmented Empire, had established a base for his forces at Colla IV,[1] an Imperial fortress world in the Inner Rim near the major Perlemian Trade Route.[11]

The New Republic advance toward Coruscant soon pitted Okins and his forces in a campaign against elements of the New Republic Third Battle Group, commanded by Admiral Willham Burke, who was tasked jointly with cutting off Imperial Warlord Treuten Teradoc from the Core Worlds. Okins' forces met Burke's first in the neighboring Chazwa system, igniting a lengthy series of raids and feints between the two admirals that culminated ultimately in Okins' death that year. Okins met his defeat when Burke tricked him into diverting a vital part of his fleet to Pindra, where it was ensnared in a grav trap that Burke had set among the system's asteroids, allowing Burke to run down and destroy Okins at Colla. Okins' defeat[1] proved a major New Republic victory[11] that opened the way for Burke to advance further Coreward down the Perlemian and link up with New Republic holdings at Brentaal IV.[1]

Personality and traitsEdit

"Scramble our fighters. I don't want to waste firepower swatting these annoying…flies with our big guns."
―Admiral Okins, during the Battle of the Bajic Shipyards[src]

Ledre Okins embodied perfectly the Imperial Navy's by-the-manual officer. He climbed the Imperial Navy's command ladder not by taking great risks or with tactical genius, but by simply doing what he was told and following the orders of his superiors.[3] Even though he was one of the oldest upper-echelon admirals in the Imperial Navy,[4] the middle-aged Okins seemed older than he truly was due to his many weathered years of loyal service.[3]

The admiral's by-the-book practicality demonstrated itself during the Imperial attack on the Rebel asteroid base in the Bajic sector. When faced with attacking Rebel starfighters, Okins elected to mobilize his own fighters for the sake of conserving firepower, despite having the overwhelming offensive advantage of the Super Star Destroyer Executor at his command. Later, Okins voiced concern for Darth Vader's decision to personally enter the dogfight in his own fighter, believing the move to be tactically unwise, although he deferred to Vader's command with proper military respect, having no other recourse.[9] Okins was bested tactically by Admiral Willham Burke during the New Republic's drive toward Coruscant, tricked into dividing his fleet, which ultimately led to his destruction at Colla.[1]

Okins never considered himself manipulated by the Emperor. He saw his work for the Emperor as merely his way of serving the Empire, because, in his mind, being a loyal servant meant doing whatever one was told, not pursuing personal agendas or trying to destroy one's peers. Should orders be ignored, the chain of command would collapse, and the Emperor's will would not be realized. Okins considered his link in that chain vital, no matter how minor.[3]

A Human, Okins had brown hair and light skin.[2]

Skills and abilitiesEdit

Okins possessed knowledge of planetary systems and capital ship and fleet tactics. He had mechanical ability in astrogation, capital ship piloting, communications, and sensors; and technical proficiency in computer programming and repair, and security.[3]

EquipmentEdit

Admiral Okins donned the standard-issue Imperial officer's uniform aboard the Executor during the assault on the Vergesso Asteroids.[12] At other times he omitted wearing the uniform's cover.[2][3] His equipment included a blaster pistol, comlink, and datapad.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit

Admiral Ledre Okins first appeared as a minor character in the May 1996 novel Shadows of the Empire, written by Steve Perry.[9] The June 1996 Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, written by Peter Schweighofer, provided Okins with a brief background as one of the Emperor's lackeys in the Imperial Navy. Artist Ray Lederer provided the sourcebook's illustration of Okins, the character's first canonical depiction.[3] An unidentified mustachioed Imperial officer bearing a strong resemblance to Okins stands with Darth Vader on the Executor's bridge during the Vergesso Asteroids assault in the Shadows of the Empire Ertl minicomic.[12] This article considers this character to be Okins based on the aforementioned corresponding details.

The Okins character was later featured in the September 2009 The Shadow Syndicate expansion set of the Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game. The set's "Admiral Okins" card presented the first confirmed color illustration of the character, artwork created by Kieran Yanner.[2] The character's first name, "Ledre," was first created for the April 2012 sourcebook The Essential Guide to Warfare, co-written by Jason Fry and Paul R. Urquhart, which also established Okins' death in the years following the events of Shadows of the Empire.[1]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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