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Piers Roddance

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"I am the law here. Your complaint is denied. Disperse at once."
―Roddance tells a group of farmers to disperse[src]

Piers Roddance was a lieutenant and later a captain in the Imperial Military on the Outer Rim planet of Lothal. As an Imperial Military officer, Roddance took a substantial interest in Imperial Military technology and also helped to train Imperial cadets at the Academy for Young Imperials. Roddance was known for taking a harsh stance against dissenters and opponents of the Galactic Empire's policies on Lothal. On one occasion, Roddance ordered his stormtroopers to open fire on a crowd of demonstrators protesting their eviction from their farmlands.

The following year, Roddance was promoted to the position of Captain. In response to the growing insurgency on Lothal, Captain Roddance took an interest in the Cadet Zare Leonis, whom he viewed as a security risk due to his association with "rebel elements." Despite his best efforts, he failed to expose Leonis and to sabotage his academic progress. Later, Roddance committed his cadets to a planetwide security sweep launched by Governor Arihnda Pryce. After Leonis took charge during an anti-smuggling operation, Roddance, under orders from the Grand Inquisitor, reluctantly acquiesced to his colleague Lieutenant Chiron's recommendation to transfer Leonis for officer training at the Arkanis Academy.

BiographyEdit

Imperial serviceEdit

"Proper terminology is a rule of the Academy, Bunkle."
―Roddance scolds Bunkle for referring to AT-DPs as just two-man walkers[src]

The male human Piers Roddance served the Galactic Empire as a Lieutenant on the planet Lothal. His duties on the world included inspection of the facilities belonging to Sienar Fleet Systems, which received three squadrons of TIE/ln space superiority starfighters with new P-s4 ion engines while he worked there. His duties also led to him observing a All Terrain Defense Pod's Maad-38 heavy laser cannon shoot through medium vehicle plating. Following a raid by the Empire's 291st Legion against Thalassian slavers on the planet Galpos II, Roddance spent time extensively studying reports on the battle.[1]

Around six years before the Battle of Yavin, Roddance was in his mid-twenties and attended a summer party thrown by the Leonis family to celebrate their daughter Dhara Leonis being accepted into Lothal's Academy for Young Imperials. At the party, the Lieutenant found Dhara's brother Zare Leonis and his neighbor Ames Bunkle discussing a patrol of TIE fighters passing the Leonis family apartment where the celebration was being held. Roddance and the boys discussed the vehicles, and then AT-DPs before Zare spotted Arihnda Pryce, Governor of Lothal, and dragged Bunkle away to speak to her.[1]

Trouble on LothalEdit

"This is an illegal assembly that violates security protocols. On behalf of Governor Pryce, I order you to disperse."
―Roddance addresses a gathering of displaced farmers[src]

Later that year in fall, Roddance returned to the Leonis household after Zare and his friends Beck Ollet and Merei Spanjaf discovered detonators placed by dissidents on Imperial surveyor droids while out on a late night walk. Following the incident, Roddance was invited into the appartment and offered tea by Zare's parents, Leo and Tepha Leonis, before Zare was brought out of his room by the nanny droid Auntie Nags. The Lieutenant reassured the boy that he was not in trouble, and then took him to the Security Ministry and questioned him about the incident. Zare told Roddance everything he had seen, but left out some of the actions of Ollet, who had misdirected Imperial stormtroopers when they arrived at the surveyor droid's location.[1]

In winter of that same year, Roddance was sent as an Imperial representative to meet with a group of disgruntled farmers who had been displaced from their land by Imperial mining operations. The farmers had put together a petition for Governor Pryce, and hoped to speak peacefully with Roddance, but the Lieutenant arrived at their meeting place with two AT-DPs and an Imperial Troop Transport full of stormtroopers. Emerging from the transport, he then spoke through the vehicle's speakers using a comlink and informed the farmers their gathering was illegal and that they would have to disperse. When the group refused to comply and sat on the ground in protest, Roddance ordered his stormtroopers forward to break up the crowd. The troopers then began stunning some of the farmers, before opening fire with the lethal energy weapons.[1]

Later that year, Dhara disappeared during a training exercise in Lothal's Easthills. While the Imperial authorities claimed that she had run away, her mother Tepha and her brother Zare suspected that the Empire was lying about the circumstances behind her disappearance. The following summer, Zare enrolled at the Imperial Academy and was accepted. Roddance once again returned to the Leonis family apartment for the boy's acceptance party, where he stood by a railing and smiled at Zare. The young Leonis, who had witnessed Roddance's involvement in the attack on the farmers, forced himself to smile back. Unknown to Roddance, Zare was planning to infiltrate the Academy to discover his sister's whereabouts.[1]

Confronting Zare LeonisEdit

"It's all very convenient, Cadet Leonis. You have so many connections to people who have engaged in seditious acts against Imperial authority, yet somehow none of those people can be questioned. Your sister is missing. Morgan and Kell are fugitives. And Beck Ollet is unavailable for questioning."
―Roddance interrogating Leonis[src]

The following year, Piers Roddance was later promoted to the rank of captain. While visiting the Academy for Young Imperials during the Fall season, Captain Roddance encountered Zare, who had just completed a grueling training exercise in the Well, a specially configured chamber that could simulate many obstacle courses. During their brief conversation, Roddance revealed that he was aware of his colleague Lieutenant Chiron had made a query into Dhara's disappearance at Zare's behest. Roddance then reiterated the official Imperial standpoint that the Empire was doing its best to find Dhara and would inform the Leonis family once they had something to report. In the meantime, he instructed Leonis and Chiron to make better use of their time rather than resorting to pointless worrying. Leonis took it as a veiled threat from the Empire to cease any inquiry into his sister's disappearance. Later, Leonis' suspicions of an Imperial cover-up were confirmed when his girlfriend Merei Spanjaf discovered that Dhara had been forcibly inducted into a secret project called Project Harvester, which was based on the planet Arkanis.[2]

During the Fall season, the Academy for Young Imperials was infiltrated by a young rebel called Dev Morgan, who used his cover as a cadet to steal a decoder that enabled his rebel associates to intercept a Kyber crystal shipment. With the connivance of Leonis, Morgan and another Force-sensitive cadet named Jai Kell escaped the Imperial authorities and fled into hiding. Leonis managed to evade exposure by pretending to resist the rebel infiltrators and received a commendation for defending the Academy.[2] In response to the attack, the Imperial authorities began interrogating cadets at the Academy about their past.[3]

During the crackdown, Captain Roddance took a personal interest in Zare Leonis. Since Leonis had associated with several known rebel sympathizers including Beck Ollet, Morgan, and Kell, Roddance had recommended that the young cadet be turned over to the Imperial Security Bureau for interrogation. However, that request was denied by "higher authorities" in the Imperial hierarchy, who appeared to regard Leonis as a model cadet. Interrupting Lieutenant Chiron's questioning, Roddance personally took charge of Leonis' interrogation and questioned the young cadet about his fitness for Imperial service.[3]

Roddance started with a past incident involving Leonis' former athletic director Janus Fhurek. Leonis had struck Fhurek after the latter had suggested his sister Dhara was a traitor. He then asked Leonis whether he knew that Dhara was planning to desert. When Leonis confirmed this was not the case, Roddance then questioned Leonis about his family's loyalty to the Empire. After being assured of his family's loyalty, the Captain asked Leonis why he had initially withdrawn his application. Zare responded by citing his difficult family circumstances and claimed that he had reapplied to restore his family name.[3]

When Roddance questioned Leonis about whether he suspected anything suspicious about the Kell and Morgan, Zare feigned ignorance of their "treachery" and reiterated his claim that he had been caught off-guard by them. Unable to disprove Leonis' account, Roddance then turned his attention to Leonis' old school friend Ollet, who had attempted to sabotage Imperial mining operations in the Westhills. When Roddance questioned Leonis whether he knew that Ollet was planning to murder Imperial personnel, Leonis denied any foreknowledge but conceded that he knew about Ollet's anti-Imperial sympathies, which were motivated by the destruction of his family's orchards to make way for a mine. During the interrogation, Leonis voiced empathy for Ollet's grievances towards the Empire.[3]

Despite his best efforts, Roddance was unable to prove any evidence of treachery or sedition on the part of Leonis. Conceding defeat, he warned the young cadet that he would be keeping a watch over him. Captain Roddance then informed Leonis that he had been selected for one final exercise, which had been arranged by "higher authorities." Even Roddance admitted ignorance about its purpose. Shortly later, a junior officer brought a curious device—a screen with a handle on it that resembled an old fashioned datapad. After an image of a ship, a cup, and a speeder appeared on the screen, Roddance asked Leonis what was on the screen. Leonis quickly realized that the Empire was testing to see whether he was Force-sensitive like his sister Dhara.[3]

In addition to screening cadets for disloyalty and sedition, Captain Roddance was also known to have supervised at least one training exercise. This training exercise involved the cadets advancing on a position held by a high-value target. For this exercise, decommissioned droids that had been judged unworthy of being refurbished or resold were used as the targets. Prior to the exercise, Roddance ordered his stormtroopers to shoot an old protocol droid. Roddance's destructive lust unnerved Leonis but was enthusiastically adopted by Cadet Nazhros Oleg, an opportunistic bully who was unpopular with his fellow cadets including Leonis. Taking Roddance's example, Oleg disintegrated a nanny droid during the exercise. Oleg's unprovoked violence earned Roddance's praise and the Captain began favoring the young Cadet at Leonis' expense.[3]

Enforcing Imperial justiceEdit

"I hope yesterday was a lesson about the value of loyalty. Cadet Oleg failed that test—he was an associate of those who thought themselves above the law. This Empire has no room for liars and traitors—or for those who fail to realize lies and treason are just points along the same line."
―Piers Roddance's view on Imperial justice[src]

Following the winter break, a further upsurge in rebel activities on Lothal led Governor Pryce to implement a planet-wide crackdown. To support the crackdown, Captain Roddance announced that the cadets of the Academy for Young Imperials would be carrying out law enforcement operations in Capital City. Their primary mission was to help ensure public safety and security by detecting illegal activity and eliminating it. He also told the cadets that questioning Imperial orders was a violation of the law itself. As part of the crackdown, the cadets questioned residents about any knowledge of illegal activities in their neighborhoods. Other activities included placing the children of fugitives into protective custody and raiding smugglers. In order to provoke Leonis into breaking the law, Roddance arrange for him to be paired up with Nazhros Oleg, whom he favored at Leonis' expense.[3]

By the first day, Roddance's cadets had produced some results. Cadets Uzall and Giles had helped stormtroopers capture a fugitive weapons smuggler. The Captain also praised Cadet Oleg for collecting information about petty tax violations and treasonous rumors. When Lieutenant Chiron expressed concerns that people were still unfamiliar with the new Imperial revenue collection policies, Roddance accused the lower-ranking officer of trying to justify tax evasion. Roddance then reiterated that every violation was an attack on the social order. When Leonis questioned the need to investigate everyone who question Imperial orders, Roddance argued that disloyal thoughts would lead to disloyal statements and actions. Before dismissing the cadets, Roddance warned the cadets that he would be investigating their personal backgrounds. He also reminded them that he expected absolute loyalty to the Emperor and unquestioning devotion to the Imperial cause.[3]

Later, Lieutenant Chiron recommended that Zare Leonis be transferred to the Arkanis Academy the following autumn for officer training. This recommendation was seconded by Sergeant Currahee and approved by Commandant Aresko, who looked on Leonis favorably for his role in "saving" the Academy from rebel attackers. However, Captain Roddance, who personally disliked Leonis, opposed this transfer. In an effort to goad Leonis into breaking Imperial law, he continued to pair the cadet with Oleg; knowing that the two disliked each other. In addition, Roddance had learned from Supply Master Yogar Lyste's informants that Oleg's two uncles, were involved in smuggling activities and operating from a warehouse in Capital City.[3]

To test the two cadets, Roddance assigned Oleg and Leonis to lead a raid on the smuggling den. For that mission, Roddance had assigned Oleg to lead stormtroopers on that raid and made Leonis his assistant. While Leonis passed the test, Oleg failed when he tried to shield his uncles from prosecution by ordering his men to release them. However, Leonis quickly took command of the situation and ordered the stormtroopers to arrest the uncles for smuggling. He also relieved Oleg of his duties. After learning about Oleg's transgression during the raid, Roddance arranged for Oleg to be expelled on the grounds of "associating" with criminals.[3]

Following the smuggling incident, a higher authority known as the Grand Inquisitor took an interest in Leonis' case and sped up the cadet's application to the Arkanis Academy to a matter of a few days rather than the following Fall. Roddance was forced to concede defeat on this matter. The Captain was later present when the Grand Inquisitor summoned Leonis for a midnight briefing in Roddance's office. During the meeting, Roddance told Leonis that the previous incident yesterday was a lesson about the value of loyalty and that Oleg had been expelled for failing that test. When Leonis suggested that Oleg was unaware that his uncles were engaged in smuggling, Roddance responded that Oleg's associations were a weakness that the enemies of the Empire would have exploited. To serve the Empire, he reasoned that one had to purge oneself of all weaknesses.[3]

When Leonis asked whether compassion was a weakness, the Inquisitor interjected that compassion was the most insidious weakness and then turned the discussion to the topic of Leonis' transfer to Arkanis. The Inquisitor then ordered Roddance to leave the office while he briefed Leonis. While Leonis' transfer to Arkanis was officially reported as a reward, the Inquisitor actually intended to investigate his links to Dev Morgan and to break the young cadet.[3] Following the execution of Commandant Cumberlayne Aresko and Taskmaster Myles Grint by the Grand Inquisitor, Roddance was made temporary head of the Academy for Young Imperials.[4]

Personality and traitsEdit

"... The strength of the Empire is more than blaster rifles and troop transports and Star Destroyers—it is loyalty. Disloyal thoughts among Imperial citizens are preludes to disloyal statements. And disloyal statements are preludes to disloyal actions. The earlier the Empire can break this treasonous chain, the more effectively it can prevent the disruption of order"
―Roddance believed that "thought crimes" needed to be punished.[src]

Roddance spoke with a Core Worlds accent and had pale skin and dark hair, which he wore close-cropped. Upon meeting Zare Leonis for the first time he gave the boy a handshake strong enough to make Zare wonder if the Lieutenant was trying to crush his hand. Roddance was far more interested in the future progress of Dhara and Zare at the Academy than that of the poorer and less intelligent Bunkle.[1]

When Roddance spoke with Leonis and Bunkle concerning Imperial vehicles, he scolded Bunkle for not using the proper terminology when referring to AT-DPs. The Lieutenant became embarrassed however, when Bunkle assumed he had taken part in the raid on Galpos II when in fact the Imperial had only read about it. Roddance spoke with great pride about the Galactic Emperor and the justice he brought to the galaxy, and refused to listen to the arguments of the displaced farmers he was sent to deal with, ordering violence against them when they began to peacefully protest.[1]

As Captain, Roddance appeared to take delight in flouting his authority over his subordinates. After Zare Leonis convinced Lieutenant Chiron to make an inquiry into Imperial efforts to locate his missing sister Dhara, Roddance reprimanded them for not minding their own business.[2] When Lieutenant Chiron later suggested that the Empire should show some leniency towards Lothalian citizens who were unfamiliar with Imperial tax regulations, Roddance accused Chiron of condoning tax evasion.[3]

As a commanding officer, Roddance encouraged aggression and brutality among his subordinates. During a life-fire training exercise, Roddance took pleasure in disintegrating a decommissioned protocol droid, which had been designated as a "high-value target". Roddance's disregard for droids encouraged Cadet Nazhros Oleg to disintegrate an decommissioned nanny droid in an unprovoked attack.[3]

Roddance was also firmly devoted to the Galactic Empire and believed that his men should be willing to follow all orders unquestioningly. He also equated telling lies with the crime of treason. He believed that the Imperial Military needed to be purged of recruits with conflicting interests that would displace their loyalty to the Empire. When Cadet Oleg failed to arrest his uncles for smuggling, Roddance had him expelled on the grounds that his loyalty was compromised.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit

Piers Roddance was created for Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy, a novel written by Jason Fry and published in 2014.

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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